Center for Collaboration and Development

The Summer King in Winter

March 6, 2014
5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
Reception, Abromson Education Center mezzanine; Event, Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, Portland campus

Music, baseball and history will come together in a special event at USM that will highlight the upcoming world premiere of a unique opera on the life of Negro League great, Josh Gibson, written by Daniel Sonenberg, USM associate professor of music and resident composer.

The Summer King in Winter: A Panel Discussion on Integration and the Demise of the Negro Baseball Leagues; Featuring an aria performance from the new opera, The Summer King: An Opera on the Life of Josh Gibson, presentations and discussion;

Thursday, March 6;

  • 5-5:30 p.m. Reception, Abromson Education Center mezzanine, University of Southern Maine Portland campus;
  • 5:30 p.m., Event, Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, USM Portland campus;

Free and open to the public.

The event is sponsored by the USM College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; USM School of Music; USM Faculty Commons; Portland Ovations; and NAACP Portland.

Aimee Petrin

Aimée M. Petrin, Portland Ovations executive director, will moderate the event.




Daniel Sonenberg, USM Associate Professor and Resident Composer, will speak on: “Never to Set Foot on the Soil of the Promised Land: Reflections on Josh, Sam and The Summer King."

Kenneth KelloggKenneth Kellogg, bass, of the Washington (D.C.) National Opera, will perform “Sam’s Aria” from The Summer King.



Chiharu Naruse of Portland, pianist, will accompany the aria performance.





Nathan Lapointe, a USM senior drama major from Van Buren, will give a dramatic reading from The Summer King.



Bob Greene, long-time sports reporter with the Associated Press, will speak on: "Satchel Paige --World's Greatest Pitcher."



RoweLeroy M. Rowe, USM Assistant Professor of African American History and Political Science, will discuss: “The Demise of a Black Community Institution: How Integration Saved the Major Leagues and Ruined the Negro League.”


Gerald Talbot, first African-American Maine state legislator: “Black Baseball in Maine: Reflections on the Portland Black Panthers.”

A panel discussion open to questions from the audience will follow the presentations. 

For a map of the Portland campus, go to:

For more information on The Summer King, go to:

Contact Information

Jeanne Curran