Sunday, February 8, 2009

William Grant Still Music Offers CDs & Sheet Music Not Found Elsewhere

[Works for Symphonic Band: William Grant Still – Florence Price; Northern Arizona University Wind Symphony; Dr. Patricia Hoy, Conductor; Cambria CD-1058 (2005); Photo: William Grant Still]

Works for Symphonic Band, Cambria CD-1058 (2005), combines works of William Grant Still and Florence Price. The music is performed by the Northern Arizona University Wind Symphony under the direction of Dr. Patricia Hoy, Conductor. The William Grant Still compositions are From The Delta; Folk Suite; Little Red Schoolhouse; Summerland and American Scene. Florence Price is represented by Three Negro Dances, whose movements are Rabbit Foot, Hoe Cake and Ticklin' Toes. The liner notes tell us: “William Grant Still's musical life was possibly richer and more varied than any other American composer. He learned the value of his ethnic heritage as a child and later became involved in the intricacies of jazz and blues as well as show music.” The notes point out that Still (1895-1978) and Price (1888-1953) lived at about the same time and both grew up in the Little Rock area. The notes say of Price: “Like Still, she studied with the American composer George Chadwick and wrote in a neo-romantic style often basing her compositions on authentic Negro rhythms as is the case in the work Three Negro Dances.

We found the CD at “William Grant Still Music”, a unique resource maintained by Judith Anne Still, daughter of William Grant Still. She has contributed greatly to preserving his legacy, with a wealth of recordings, books and sheet music. The website is:

Located in Flagstaff, Arizona, the organization has a companion website,, which is devoted to the first grand opera by an African American, William Grant Still's Troubled Island.  Many of Still's compositions are relatively easy to find at major music websites, but for some the only source is William Grant Still Music.

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