Composer Valerie Coleman is a distinct voice in a new generation of African-American artists who combine African-American heritage and urban culture with contemporary classical music. The melody is mainly a viola solo with supporting rhythms from the violins and a constant motor played by the cello. An original “groove-based” composition calling for unity through the tradition of call and response, Umoja is Swahili for “unity” and is also the first day of the Kwanzaa holiday. An excellent recital encore or demo piece.
Difficulty level, roughly compared to ABRSM exam grades. 0 is beginner, 9 is advanced (beyond grade 8).