The Classics a Day team has celebrated Black composers before. This time around, I tried to avoid duplication with previous posts. It was easy to do. There is a lot of classical music by persons of color, both in the past as well as the present. A lot.
Here are my posts for the fourth week of #BlackHistoryMonth for #ClassicsaDay.
02/22/21 Clarence Cameron White – Levee Dance
White was one of the best violinists at the turn of the 20th Century. His race limited his opportunities. His music blended African-American traditions with Western classical forms.
02/23/21 Michael Abels – Urban Legends
This work is credited with jumpstarting Abels’ film career. Jordon Peele saw it, and tapped Abels for the score of “Get Out.” He followed this with the soundtrack for “Us.”
02/24/21 Ulysses Kay – Six Dances for String Orchestra
In 1954 Kay was asked to provide music for a CBS radio program “String Serenade.” He wrote two dances. They were hit, and so he wrote two more for the program. Later he added two more to round out the suite for concert use.
02/25/21 Zenobia Powell Perry – Up Over My Head I See Freedom In the Air
This is an aria from Perry’s opera “Tawawa House.” It was an underground railroad station and later the site of Wilberforce College, one of the first black-owned colleges.
02/26/21 Alvin Singleton – After the Fallen Crumbs
Singleton wrote this work while serving as the composer in residence for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The ensemble premiered the work in 1987.