Los Alamos Pianist Rheta Moazzami. Photo by Sherry Hardage
By KIRTSEN LASKEY
Los Alamos Daily Post
In celebration of Black History Month, the Los Alamos Arts Council’s upcoming Brown Bag show will feature a collaboration of music and poetry.
Los Alamos Pianist Rheta Moazzami along with Poet and University of New Mexico Professor Dr. Doris Fields are performing in the noontime concert Wednesday at Fuller Lodge.
The concert is free to the public.
The pieces Moazzami will perform include one of her own compositions, “Selma,” which she wrote in honor of the 50th anniversary of the civil rights march that took place in Selma, Ala. Additionally, she will perform pieces by composer Samuel Coleridge Taylor.
Fields selected poems to read that would compliment the music, Moazzami said, adding, Fields is a wonderful poet with a beautiful speaking voice. “It’s going to be a treat,” she said.
Fields’ poetry brings awareness to the human condition, Moazzami said. Fields’ poetry not only celebrates African-American culture, but has also commemorated the Japanese kept in internment camps during World War II and urged peace between Israel and Jerusalem.
Likewise, Moazzami is eager to perform music by Coleridge-Taylor, an Anglo-African classical composer whose work was famous at the turn-of-the century.
Through the poetry readings and piano music, the hope is to raise the audience’s awareness to a history that sometimes receives little attention.
“It’s just a consciousness raising exercise,” Moazzami said, “to remind people there’s whole other history we have not looked at particularly.”
This is Moazzami’s first Brown Bag show although she served on the Arts Council and performed locally in the past. Moazzami said she performed at the past five University of New Mexico-Los Alamos’ music marathons.
Fields is a scholar and a spiritual person who strives to foster uplift of all people, as much as possible. In addition to poetry she is a writing workshop facilitator, jewelry and visual artist, and retired public health worker. Currently, Fields serves as adjunct faculty member at the University of New Mexico where she teaches Health Issues of Death and Dying and Stress Management.
Additionally, she conducts workshops on cultural competence and humility and coordinated the Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday commemoration for the Santa Fe Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for more than 10 years.
Moazzami encourages the community to attend the show. “We appreciate the audience coming out and hope to see everyone there.”