Nashville Has A New Sound: A Sit Down With The Founder of The Colour of Music


When I heard about the Colour of Music, I immediately thought what an elevated step for our fair city. Culture at it’s finest. This festival will add something fresh to our entertainment and live music landscape.

To give you some context, in case you are not familiar, The Colour Of Music is a festival that will feature black classical artists and scholars from France, Britain, Colombia, the Caribbean, and the United States performing organ, piano, vocal, chamber and orchestral works. The Festival aims to showcase the overall impact and historical significance of black classical composers and performers on American and world culture.

We sat down with festival Founder, Lee Pringle to learn more about the inspiration behind creating this one of kind symphonic experience.


What inspired you to bring Colour of Music to life?

You could say I have an interesting path to being the CEO of an all black classical organization. Like many in the Southern black community, the church was an anchor for all music, and luckily, I had a music educator who inspired many young black boys and girls to look at music as an opportunity to go places where you might not be able to go geographically. I was very fortunate to have a nurturing family life early on and follow in the footsteps of my older brother. He joined the school band and chorus, and I did the same.

You could say I have an interesting path to being the CEO of an all black classical organization.

As I became an adult, I became involved with symphony boards and got a chance to start producing concerts for the Charleston Symphony for about 12 years while I was in the corporate world. That allowed me to cut my teeth and propose the idea of and all black classical organization to them. Initially, they didn’t have the ability to execute the idea, and frustrated, I decided to do it on my own and it has been a labor of love. It’s daunting but very rewarding to see an incredible mosaic hue of black faces on the stage playing classical music at the highest caliber. I have always had this spirit of if you can perceive it, you can achieve it, and I had many black educators who led by example with my parents being my first example of planning to do something and sticking to it.

Why did you choose Nashville to bring your festival next?

Nashville is a special place for black Americans. The evolution of black music in North America started here in Nashville. The Fisk Jubilee Singers are an iconic name for a reason, and many people don’t know the origins of the African American spiritual started with them. I am just trying to create a platform for black conductors, for classically trained black artists who get limited opportunities to perform white European compositions and rarely get a chance to perform work from black composers.

Our mission is to give them that platform and the opportunity to perform white and black compositions, but to do it in a setting that would be no different if you went to the Nashville Symphony to experience a black classical presentation.

You can purchase tickets for the Colour of Music Festival at one of the options below. Range from $10 to $45. To purchase a ticket:

In person: Frist Art Museum Auditorium, W.O. Smith Music School, Belmont University, Harton Recital Hall, and Vanderbilt University Ingram Hall

By phone: Advance E-tickets (866) 811-4111


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