Muskegon, Michigan, February 21, 2023— Violinist Njioma Grevious, recently announced First Prizewinner at the 2023 Sphinx Competition in Detroit, will be in Muskegon during the first week of March for performances at The Block and with West Michigan Symphony. The 23-year-old rising star will perform Marcus Norris’s new violin concerto Glory under the baton of Scott Speck at the Frauenthal Center, 425 W. Western Avenue, at 7:30pm on Friday, March 3. Dr. Norris—who originally hails from Jackson, Michigan—will be joining her for the weeklong residency, during which the two will visit area school classrooms, participate in media interviews, and greet the public at a free Lunch ‘n Learn at The Block.
Friday night’s WMS concert, sponsored by the Howmet Community Fund at the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, will also include Mozart’s Symphony No. 35 “Haffner” and Haydn’s Symphony No. 94 “Surprise.” Tickets, starting at $19 for adults, $10 for students, are available at 231.727.8001, in person at the Frauenthal box office or for online purchase at www.westmichigansymphony.org.
On Saturday night at 7:30, Grevious will perform a solo program at The Block, 360 W. Western Avenue, accompanied by pianist Andrew Goodridge. The performance will include selections by Bach, Tchaikovsky and Mozart, and will feature music by Samuel Coleridge Taylor. Tickets, starting at $32 for adults, $10 for students, are available at 231.726.3231, in person at The Block or online at www.theblockwestmichigan.org.
A resident of New York City and Washington, D.C., Njioma (pronounced En-jee-o-mah) Grevious came from a musical family and began violin at age 4. She completed her undergraduate studies at The Juilliard School, where she took time to perform regularly for the medically vulnerable, retirees and children. She has regularly taught elementary students from underserved communities. The annual Sphinx Competition offers young Black and Latinx classical string players the opportunity to perform before an internationally renowned jury.
Dr. Marcus Norris’s first foray into making music came by producing rap beats on pirated software on a Windows 98 computer. Though he came to composing concert music later, he transferred that same imagination to writing music of all kinds. This cross-genre mastery resulted in Beyoncé asking him to arrange songs for 50-piece orchestra as part of her surprise 2023 Dubai return to live performance. He was Composer-in-Residence for the Chicago Philharmonic from 2021-24; earned a commission from the Atlanta Opera as prize for winning their inaugural 96-hour Opera Project; and made his Walt Disney Concert Hall debut in 2022 as part of the LA Philharmonic’s National Composers Intensive.
An anchor cultural organization headquartered in Muskegon, West Michigan Symphony is a member of the National Alliance for Audition Support, supporting the work of The Sphinx Organization to increase diversity in American orchestras by offering Black and Latinx musicians mentoring, audition preparation, financial support, and audition previews.
NJIOMA GREVIOUS & MARCUS NORRIS
Muskegon Artist Residency
School Activities March 1-3
Njioma Grevious visits first-year string musicians from WMS Tune Up after-school program at Oakview Elementary; Marcus Norris visits music students at MLK Elementary, Muskegon Heights
Grevious/Norris visit first-year string musicians from WMS Tune Up after-school program at Marquette Elementary
Marcus Norris visits Mona Shores HS Music Theory Class
Grevious leads masterclass for Muskegon High School Orchestra
Public Events March 2-4
March 2: Grevious/Norris Lunch & Learn at The Block, 360 W. Western Ave., Noon. Free. Exploring music from the upcoming concert hosted by conductor Scott Speck
March 3: Grevious/Norris West Michigan Symphony performance at Frauenthal Center 7:30 pm March 3 Tickets start at $19/Students $10
March 4: Grevious solo performance at The Block, 7:30 pm Tickets $32, $48 Students $10