The MUW Chamber Singers under the direction of Dr. William Reber will perform a program of works by African American composers.


The concert has limited in-person seating. Admission is free, but reservations are required. Masks are required for entry.

Program

Featured on the program are eight choral works of:

  • Florence Price (1887-1953)
  • William Grant Still (1895-1978)
  • Betty Jackson King (1928-1994)
  • Moses Hogan (1957-2003)

Completing the program will be three solo songs composed by Margaret Bonds (1913-1972), sung by MUW voice faculty member soprano Dr. Susan Hurley, accompanied by Dr. Reber.

About the Composers:

Florence Price (1887-1953)
Price was a composer, pianist, organist and teacher. She was the first African American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer and was the first to have a work performed by a major symphony orchestra (the Chicago Symphony).  

Margaret Bonds (1913-1972)
Bonds was a composer, pianist, arranger, and teacher. She was a student of Florence Price. Important in her work were her collaborations with the poet Langston Hughes. She is widely considered one of the first black composers and performers to gain national recognition in the United States.

Betty Jackson King (1928-1994)
King was a pianist, singer, educator, choral conductor, and composer. In addition to choral and other vocal works, she composed operas, a cantata, and a requiem.

Moses Hogan (1957-2003)
Hogan was a composer and arranger of choral music and was a pianist and conductor of international reputation. He led his own choir, the Moses Hogan Chorale and its later version, the Moses Hogan Singers, for several years. He is the person who introduced spirituals into the standard choral repertory. Hogan published some 88 vocal arrangements.

William Grant Still (1895-1978)
Still, the so-called “Dean of Afro-American composers,” was from Woodville. He composed nearly 200 works, including five symphonies, four ballets, nine operas, plus numerous choral works, art songs, chamber music, solo instrumental works and film scores. He was the first African-American to have an opera produced by the New York City Opera, and was the first to conduct a major orchestra (Los Angeles Philharmonic). In 1955, he became the first to conduct an orchestra in the deep south (New Orleans Philharmonic). Still was the first to have an opera performed on nation-wide television (Bayou Legend). His works have been performed by the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Symphony and the Tokyo Symphony, among others.