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Jan. 29, 1948: Miss Portia White concert Wednesday

['<p>Heritage Corner with Pat Crowe</p>']
['<p>Heritage Corner with Pat Crowe</p>']

Heritage Corner with Pat Crowe

Jan. 29, 1948 – Springhill Record

Portia White, well known Halifax, N.S., contralto, has just returned from a mid-season tour of the Canadian West. This talented singer has been booked to sing in the United Baptist Church, Springhill, on Feb. 4th. The tickets are now on sale and will be in great demand for seldom has Springhill been favored with such an outstanding vocalist as Portia White, who was born in Truro, but spent most of her early life in Halifax.

Miss White has authorized the announcement that she has signed a contract with one of the foremost New York Concert Managements, Bernard R, LaBerge, Inc. Mr. LaBerge is an impresario of international repute and a native of Canada. He is the personal manager of the world-famous violinist, Mischa Elman and has on his roster such names as Emanuel List, Metropolitan Opera Basso, Ross Pratt, Canadian Pianist, The Paganini Quartet, as well as many noted organist.

Portia White will begin a Maritime Tour late in January that will include many towns and cities. At the conclusion of this tour Miss White will visit Newfoundland.

Miss White is looking forward to a European Tour during the season 1948-49 under the personnel management of Mr. LaBerge. She has been invited to sing in the United Nations Festival which is being held in New York in the Spring.

Portia White delights large Springhill audience

Feb. 5, 1948 – Music lovers of Springhill turned out in full force Wednesday evening and packed the Baptist Church to hear Miss Portia White, fames negro contralto soloist, in recital and her accompanist, Allister Patterson, of Mount Allison University.

Divided into five groups, Miss White’s program, included a variety of songs which not only had great appeal to the audience, but which displayed to the advantage the full richness and range of the singer’s voice.

In the first group two selections were sung in language and included the well known “Plaisir d’Amour” by Martini and the lilting English air “The Lass with the Delicate Air.”

The second group comprised the aria “O! Don Fatale” and was received with thunderous applause.

Following this came works from Shubert and Brahms. Miss White’s rendition of the compositions of the former conveyed fully the feeling which characterizes his works. “Weingenlied” better known as “Brahms Lullaby” and perhaps the most popular of Brahms works was grouped with his boastful “Der Schmied.” Encored, Miss White sang the negro spiritual “Sweet Little Jesus Boy.”

After a brief intermission during which Miss White was presented with a bouquet of flowers by Miss Gloria Holloway, on behalf of the B.Y.P.U., Miss White continued her recital with a group of lighter numbers which included the very lovely Grieg’s “I Love Thee” from “Song of Norway.” Also in this group was the frolicking melody of an old English air “Twelve Days of Christmas.”

In her final appearance Miss White produced a collection of spirituals, an Afro-American Ballad and the encore “Deep River.”

This program of such varied numbers could not help but thrill music lovers of the town, while the Young People of the Baptist Church are indeed to be complimented on their presentation of such a noted artist.

Turns Down United Nations Request

Following the concert, Miss White, along with members of the Baptist Church and others was entertained at the home of Mayor and Mrs. A.J. Mason where a social hour was enjoyed.

In an interview with Miss White, The Record learned that due to her present Maritime tour she had just turned down a request to appear as a representative of Canada on the United Nations Festival Program at New York on February 11th. Already committed to appear in Cape Breton at that time she felt it would have been unfair to make changes at this late hour, much as she would have enjoyed the honor of singing for such a distinguished audience.

Miss White, the daughter of a Baptist Clergyman, began her singing career in earnest in 1941. Since that time she has devoted herself to her career and has been acclaimed in such musical centres as New York and Toronto. She also appeared at a command performance in Ottawa for the Earl of Athlone and Princess Alice during their term here. Miss White is now looking forward to the European tour for the 1948-49 season.

Soft spoken and self-effacing, Miss White has an unusually charming personality. Still in her twenties, she has a genuine interest in all things cultural, and her favorite pastime is reading. The young singer delighted her audience here and may be assured of even a larger gathering on a return engagement.

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