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Past Performances

The Mary McLeod Bethune Suite - Daytona Beach, Florida - October 3, 2003

The Mary McLeod Bethune Suite was premiered on October 3, 2003 at the new Performing Arts Center of Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Florida The well received performance was the inauguration of the year-long celebration of the College’s 100th anniversary. The work was performed by the Bethune-Cookman College Chorus under the direction of Dr. Rebecca Steele. The Concert also featured solo performances by Claritha Buggs - Mezzo Soprano, Curtis Rayam - Tenor, and Gail Robinson-Oturo - Soprano as well as the Stetson University Orchestra under the baton of Anthony Hose.

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The Mary McLeod Bethune Suite, Ms. Baity's latest major work, tells the story of Mary McLeod Bethune's dedication and devotion as an educator and an activist as it is written in Ms. Bethune's own words. Written in 1954, the year before her death, the text of Ms. Bethune's Last Will and Testament is the basis of the eight-part work written for chorus, solo voice and orchestra. The foundation of the Suite is taken from the specific portions of Ms. Bethune's last will and testament that eloquently and adamantly establish her philosophical stance on the concepts of love, faith, hope, confidence, racial dignity, a thirst for education, and power. Ms. Bethune's Last Will and Testament boldly exclaims the significance of her life, and her contributions. Ms. Baity's composition deftly elevates Ms. Bethune's vision and legacy to a place of reverence and celebration. Each of the nine parts is an individual work, which can be performed as such.

The pieces for solo voice are Education, Confidence and My Legacy. Choral pieces include Faith, Hope, Power, and Love, which features an extended piano solo. An orchestral overture completes the suite. Ms. Baity collaborated on a majority of the orchestrations throughout the Suite with orchestral arranger and composer, Konstantinos Christides, of Los Angeles, California.

  • The Performing Arts Center of Bethune Cookman College. Dedicated 10/2003.
  • The Stetson University Orchestra under the baton of Anthony Hose playing the overture to the Mary McLeod Bethune Suite on October 3. Rebecca Steele was a choral director.
  • J. Baity with soprano, Gail Robinson-Oturu, and Hiram Powell, head of the Bethune Cookman Music Department.
  • J. Baity with Konstantinos Christides, orchestrator, dancers Asia-lige  Arnold, Stella Inyamah and Tiye Smith along with Claritha Buggs Jacobs, Mezzo-soprano.
  • J. Baity with Carla Lester and members of the Orchesis Dance Ensemble.
  • Gail Robinson-Oturo, Konstantinos Christides, tenor, Curtis Rayam, Carla Lester and Julius John, Director
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