When the Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts (CAAPA), a Washington, DC-area based non-profit arts organization found out that New York’s Great White Way will feature its first African American in the long-running hit “Phantom of the Opera”, the decision to incorporate the theme into their Gala was an easy one. CAAPA’s mission is to “Bring color to the classics!” by supporting African American classical musicians and others in the performing arts and was delighted when the pivotal moment in music history was made. The organization will host a Phantom-themed Gala on Thursday, June 26, 2014 at Harmony Hall Regional Center John Addison Concert Hall, 9801 Livingston Road, Fort Washington, MD at 6:30 pm for the pre-reception and 8:00 pm for the awards show and incorporating black, white and red into the evening. A call went out to Scandal actor Norm Lewis to invite him to attend and receive an award for his accomplishment. He wasn’t available --- it’s Broadway --- but was honored and is sending a video tribute to be viewed by attendees.
Enthusiastically embracing the phantom theme, the organization’s Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board Pamela Simonson saw the original Andrew Lloyd Weber hit on Broadway three times and plans to see this production. A die-hard Scandal fan she is thrilled to know Lewis' name is now also associated with the Tony-award winning show.
Receiving a CAAPA Award that evening for her many contributions to classical music and the arts is the district’s beloved Joyce Garrett, founder of the Washington Youth Choir with a musical performance by recent Washington National Opera star Solomon Howard (The Magic Flute). Howard will not be singing Phantom, but his rich voice is a treat not to be missed. Famed mezzo soprano Denyce Graves and Joseph Joubert lent their names to support CAAPA and serve as the evening’s Honorary Gala Co-Chairpersons.
CAAPA is a 501c3 organization that provides Community outreach, Arts education, Audience development, Performance opportunities and Arts partnerships. Patrons may purchase tickets or make tax deductible donation on the website, by telephone at 301-839-1444 or send to CAAPA, Post Office Box 44954, Fort Washington, MD 20744.