As Black History Month comes to a close and Women’s History Month begins, Centre College’s Norton Center for the Arts presents a riveting two-day residency.

The McGill/McHale Trio will visit the Norton Center on Monday, March 2 to begin a mini-residency, exploring social justice, classical music, and more.

“Three of the world’s most prominent African-American classical musicians will be here for a two-day residency, filled with discussions and workshops on the uniqueness of their rise to superstardom,” Norton Center executive director Steve Hoffman said.

Anthony McGill, Demarre McGill, and Michael McHale formed the McGill/McHale Trio in 2014, and they will be joined on stage by Kentucky-native, flutist, and composer, Valerie Coleman.

Anthony McGill is considered one of the finest solo, chamber, and orchestra musicians in the world. He was named Principal Clarinet of the New York Philharmonic in September 2014, and previously held the same title with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

His brother, Demarre McGill, has served as Principal Flute of the Seattle, Dallas, and San Diego symphony orchestras and has also served as acting principal of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He is also currently on faculty at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.

McHale, a native of Belfast, Northern Ireland, has performed in orchestras and symphonies across the globe. He is considered one of Ireland’s leading concert pianists.

Coleman has composed the program’s focal work for the March 3 performance, titled “Portraits of Langston,” based on selected poems by Langston Hughes. The poems will be recited before their corresponding musical movements by Centre College students. The six-movement suite combines poetry and music to marry classical and jazz sounds in the spirit of Harlem in the 1920s.

The residency starts at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 2 with a discussion in Weisiger Theatre, titled “Racial Barriers to Performing and Touring Classical Music.” The program will examine the timely role of race in classical music.

On Tuesday at 9:40 a.m. in the Newlin Hall Foyer, a discussion “Social Justice through Music” continues the residency. The performers will discuss the personal role creating and performing music plays in their lives.

On Tuesday at 11:20 a.m., a Creative Conversation panel discussion, “Classical Music and the African American Experience” will take place in Weisiger Theatre.

The main event of this residency is the public performance, which begins at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 3.

“All of the panels and talks are free and open to the public.  Tickets for the public performance start at $15 and can be purchased at or by calling 877-HIT SHOW,” Hoffman said. “Centre College and the Norton Center are thrilled to be able to provide this service for our community with world-renowned artists.”

Support for the McGill/McHale Trio and residency is provided by: Humana Visiting Professors Program, Grace Doherty Library, Centre College Diversity Office, and Stuart Powell. Creative Conversations are made possible by a gift from Dr. Jeff Johnson, Centre College Class of 1995, and Ken Michael.


List of mini-residency events


Monday, March 2

Racial Barriers to Performing and Touring Classical Music



7:30 p.m.

Weisiger Theatre


Tuesday, March 3

Social Justice Through Music



9:40 a.m.

Newlin Hall Lobby

Classical Music and The African American Experience

Creative Conversation Panel Discussion


11:20 a.m.

Weisiger Theatre

Evening Performance

Tickets starting at $15

7:30 p.m.

Weisiger Theatre

About the Norton Center for the Arts

The Norton Center is home to an annual performing arts season of professional touring presentations. It is also Centre College’s primary venue for music and theatrical productions, lectures, convocations, and live student entertainment. The Norton Center has two venues: the 1,470-seat Newlin Hall, known for its acoustics, and the warm and intimate 367-seat Weisiger Theatre. The Norton Center also boasts a large art collection with many of the works on display in the Grand Foyer and throughout campus.

Media contact: Jennifer Broadwater (, 859-238-5421.