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Access Contemporary Music

Access Contemporary Music (ACM)

Access Contemporary Music (ACM) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to integrating musical creativity into everyday life.  ACM partners with Historic Milwaukee to compose music for Doors Open spaces and have musicians perform the music in the spaces on the day of the event.  This year's performaces will be available virtually from September 26 - October 11 and feature Milwaukee's City Hall and the Wisconsin Black Historical Society.

Milwaukee City Hall – Music by Chiayu Hsu

Most cities have torn down their classic city halls in favor of a big box store look and feel. But not Milwaukee. This classic is beautiful and a credit to the city. Milwaukee’s city hall is a magnificent 1895 building that is still the seat of city government today. The distinctive architecture, the Flemish Renaissance Revival style, not only pays homage to the local population of Germanic ancestry, but also serves as a symbol of the city in general. When first built in 1895, the City Hall was the third-tallest building in the country thanks to its spectacular bell tower, which stands at 353 ft. tall. Designed by architect Henry C. Koch, the building was renovated and the bell tower restored in 2006.

The composition written by Chiayu Hsa has two main sections: 

  • The first section tries to capture the spacious acoustic of the building and depicts the dawn when streets are quiet, and the hall is standing surrounded by modern buildings.
  • The second section takes the Renaissance composer, Guillaume Dufay’s Resvelons Nous as the theme to create variations.  This section depicts the lively activities in the building during daytime. The ending section returns to the musical ideas from the first section to portray the down time of the night and eventually the building is empty, and lights are off.

Music performed by:
Peter Thomas – cello
Heather Yarmel – flute

Wisconsin Black Historical Society – Music by Angelo Hart

The Wisconsin Black Historical Society/Museum located on the corners of North 27 and West Center Streets opened its door and its heart to the community, city, and state in 1987. Based on the premise that a people who know their history will grow to love and appreciate themselves more, the Society is striving to create a bright future out of a heart-breaking past.

The mission of the Wisconsin Black Historical Society/Museum is to document and preserve the historical heritage of African descent in Wisconsin. The Museum exhibits, collects and disseminates materials depicting this heritage. Serving as a resource center for all people interested in Wisconsin’s rich African American heritage, the Museum’s purpose is to encourage and promote family community and cultural activities.

Founding Director, Clayborn Benson III produced the documentary called Black Communities, which was the inspiration for establishing the Wisconsin Black Historical Society/Museum in 1987. In 1988, the Museum became an affiliated member of The State Historical Society. The building, constructed in 1898, was the Engine No. 2 Fire Station. It was converted into the Center Street Library in 1928.

Music performed by:
Benjamin Adler – clarinet
Aaron Zauner – cello