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Artistic Director Michelle Djokic

Musikiwest harnesses the collaborative power of chamber music to engender empathic awareness, promote conflict resolution and build peaceable communities.

SandBox is proud to be the new home of Musikiwest, an innovative program that brings chamber musicians into classrooms to teach conflict resolution while exposing students to world-class live music.

Christmas Cantata "The Ballad of The Brown King"

Musikiwest @ Sandbox

440 Ortiz Ave, Sand City, CA

Sunday, December 3, 2023 @ 2:00 PM

Christmas Cantata The Ballad of The Brown King Matinee

An extraordinary work by Margaret Bonds and Langston Hughes receives its Central Coast premier.

Musikiwest presents a poignant and profound holiday celebration concert featuring the Christmas Cantata “Ballad of The Brown King” (1954) by black female composer, Margaret Bonds. Bonds produced The Ballad of the Brown King with her longtime professional collaborator and close personal friend, Langston Hughes, who supplied the libretto. The Ballad tells the nativity story with an emphasis on King Balthazar, one of the Three Magi, who has been described as African or dark-skinned in legends and artistic representations dating back to the Middle Ages.This rarely performed multi-part choral work captures the story of Balthazar, one of the Magi of the “We Three Kings” fame. Bonds wrote in a 1961 letter about the Ballad, “I honestly want the propaganda of this piece spread all over the world.” This arrangement you will hear is made. by Malcolm Merriweather.

If music be the food of love, play on…

— Shakespeare