By Submitted Story on May 10, 2023
On Saturday, June 17, at 5:00 pm, Tshombe Selby, beloved Manteo native and tenor with the Metropolitan Opera, will return to sing The Sounds of Freedom at the Pea Island Cookhouse Museum in Manteo to celebrate the national holiday, Juneteenth.
Since this year the holiday falls on Monday, the concert will be held on Saturday to allow more people the opportunity to attend. Tshombe’s return marks the third consecutive year that Pea Island Preservation Society Inc. (PIPSI) has held this free outdoor at the Cookhouse Museum located at Collins Park.
Since the Juneteenth concert last year, Tshombe has been singing mainly at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. This season he performed in four operas with the chorus there and in one concert at Carnegie Hall. He also marked another important milestone in his life, singing his debut solo role as Mono in Terrance Blanchard’s opera Champion.
Tshombe started his career singing and playing piano at Haven Creek Baptist Church on Roanoke Island. The historic church was named after thousands of enslaved who fled to this area in search of a “safe haven,” a place they could find freedom during the Civil war, and where the Freedmen’s Colony on Roanoke Island was once located. Tshombe’s roots are tied to this history, making his performance at the Cookhouse Museum even more special.
The celebration this year will include the unveiling of a new painting by the local artist James Melvin, a painting to remember the Freedmen’s Colony. This new painting represents the fourth painting Mr. Melvin has done as part PIPSI’s continued efforts to raise awareness of the Black history of Roanoke Island locally and beyond.
The Don and Catharine Bryan Cultural Series and Towne Bank were lead sponsors the past two years. Both have again committed to support the event this year. If other businesses, organizations, or individuals wish to provide support, please contact PIPSI at email@example.com. As the concert date approaches, more details will be provided.