Monday, May 31, 2010

Wilmer Wise: History of 'The Symphony of the New World' is in Ebony & Google Books

[African American Trumpeter Wilmer Wise; Photo from website of The Jazz Museum in Harlem]

Trumpeter Wilmer Wise sends us an email entitled: “The Symphony of the New World.” He writes: “This is HISTORY – Ebony – Google Books. Wilmer” Wilmer Wise has lived a considerable amount of music history himself, as is evident from an article in the International Trumpet Guild Journal, October 2005, p. 39, Wilmer Wise: A Remarkable Life Of Diversity, by Laurie Frink.

EBONY Nov 1966
“Manhattan orchestra provides training for talented of all races
One afternoon last year, a group of Harlem schoolchildren were herded down to Carnegie Hall as part of an 'enrichment' program of the New York Board of Education. When the concert was over, teachers asked several of them what they had thought of it. Surprisingly, few of the comments centered on the music. Instead, the kids wanted to know why the heck only one of the musicians was a Negro.

“They would have no such fuss, certainly, with the Symphony of the New World. When the group opened its second season last spring in Manhattan's Philharmonic Hall, 41 of its 88 musicians were Negroes, with a dozen Asians also holding chairs. Its guest soloist was a Negro soprano, Gwendolyn Sims, and its program included an original work by a Negro composer, John Carter. The fulfillment of a 25-year dream, the orchestra was formed in 1964 to provide a training ground for talented young non-whites, who are conspicuously absent from the nation's major orchestras, and to bring the wonders of serious music to culturally deprived areas of the city.

“The notion first began in 1940. Benjamin Steinberg, a well-known conductor and violinist, and two Negro conductors, Dean Dixon and Everett Lee, had attempted to launch an orchestra specifically designed for Negro musicians, who were almost entirely excluded from the symphonic stage. But America was not ready for any such animal, and after serious financial difficulties, both Dixon and Lee went abroad to pursue their careers. Steinberg, however, kept the faith. In 1964, he and 13 prominent musicians, all but one of them Negroes, formed a founding committee that eventually was to lead to the orchestra itself.

“Success was immediate. The New World has impressively performed works by composers from Mozart to Stravinsky. Its roster of musicians includes graduates of such leading music schools as Juilliard, Curtis, Manhattan, New England Conservatory and Eastman, as well as former hands with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the NBC Symphony. It has been featured worldwide on both the Voice of America and the Armed Forces Radio and critics have called it, for both artistic and sociological reasons, a major development in the musical history of the United States.”

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Kelly Hall-Tompkins plays the Quartets of Mark O'Connor in Bryant Park Monday May 31

[Photo by Jeff Fasano ]

Free Concert in Bryant Park - Monday
An Evening with Mark O'Connor and Friends

Bryant Park After Work Music hosted by Bill McGlaughlin
O’Connor String Quartets

Bryant Park (Fountain Terrace) NYC – Free Public Concert
Monday, May 31, 2010, 6:00pm–7:30pm
6th Avenue at 41st Street

O’Connor String Quartet No. 2 “Bluegrass” and
O’Connor String Quartet No. 3 “Old-Time”

Mark O’Connor – violin
Gillian Gallagher – viola
Patrice Jackson - cello

Bryant Park hosts a brand-new, free jazz and classical music series at 6pm, curated and hosted by public radio’s Bill McGlaughlin.

To celebrate the new series, restaurants 'wichcraft and The Southwest Porch are offering a deal for attendees of the After Work with Bill McGlaughlin & Friends concerts. The Porch is a comfortable outdoor lounge, just steps away from the After Work stage on the Fountain Terrace, offering a unique food and beverage menu from Tom Colicchio’s ‘wichcraft.

Bring your concert program to The Porch and show to your waiter or bartender to receive a 10% discount off any ‘wichcraft sip or snack. The discount is valid only with a program from the current evening’s concert.

British Music Radio on Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: '...your discography will help greatly.'

[Samuel Coleridge-Taylor; Chicago Sinfonietta; Paul Freeman; Cedille 90000 055 (2000]

British Music Radio,, is a non-profit online classical music website, “Dedicated to the promotion of classical music composed by British composers, from earliest-known to present day.” AfriClassical recently received a request for names of British composers whose music has been neglected. In response, we called attention to the rich discography of music by the Afro-British composer, conductor and professor Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912), who is profiled at Today we received this reply from Jan Cosgrove, which is followed by our message:

Thanks, and very helpful info too. You can be sure we will not neglect this fascinating gent in any way, and your discography will help greatly. Please keep in touch.

Hello Jan,

In response to your email request for suggestions of British composers whose works are undervalued, I can think of no better example than Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912). This email is based on the composer's page at my website,

Coleridge-Taylor rose to prominence in 1898, the year he turned 23, on the strength of two works. The first was his Ballade in A Minor. It was commissioned for the prestigious annual Three Choirs Festival at the suggestion of the British composer Edward Elgar (1857-1934). The piece was a critical and popular success.

Coleridge-Taylor's second major composition of 1898 was his musical Hiawatha's Wedding Feast, for which he is best known. The work is a setting of verses from Song of Hiawatha by the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He conducted its premier to great acclaim. The work was staged hundreds of times in the United Kingdom alone during the next 15 years.

The Coleridge-Taylor page at discusses the composer's major works, including 24 Negro Melodies, Op. 59, which is available on two recordings. Coleridge-Taylor's Violin Concerto in G Minor, Op. 80 can be found on multiple recordings, including the version of the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Avie AV0044 (2004); and one by the London Philharmonic Orchestra on Lyrita SRCD.317 (2007).

Violinist Rachel Barton Pine and the Encore Chamber Orchestra, led by Daniel Hege, Conductor, have made a world premiere recording of Coleridge-Taylor's Romance in G Major for Violin and Orchestra. The CD is Cedille 90000 035 (1997).

The Coleridge Ensemble is a 10-member group based in Massachusetts and dedicated to performance of works by composers of African descent. It has recorded chamber music of Coleridge-Taylor on AFKA SK 543 (1998).

In 1999 the Southwest German Chamber Orchesta, led by Vladislav Czarnecki, Conductor, released a recording on the EBS label entitled Novelleten der Romantik (Novelletas of Romanticism).

Another chamber music recording is: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Chamber Music, Centaur CRC 2691. The performers are Kelly Burke, clarinet, and John Fadial, violin. The works are: Quintet in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 10; Four African Dances, Op. 58; and Nonet in F Minor, Op. 2.

Ballade is the title of a CD of works by Edvard Grieg, Claude Debussy and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, on EDI Records 9259 (2005). The performers are violinist Nokuthula Ngwenyama, an American of Zimbabwean-Japanese heritage, and Mihae Lee, a pianist born in South Korea. Coleridge-Taylor is represented on the disc by his Ballade in C Minor for Violin and Piano, Op. 73 (13:36).

Coleridge-Taylor's Symphony in A Minor is an attractive student work on ClassicO 684 (2006). His Piano Quintet in G Minor (26:23), Ballade in C Minor (13:00), and Clarinet Quintet in F-sharp Minor (29:56) have been recorded by The Nash Ensemble on Hyperion CDA67590 (2007).

Hiawatha's Wedding Feast, Petite Suite de Concert and Bamboula (55:39) are performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Malcolm Sargent, Conductor; and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, with Kenneth Alwyn, Conductor; EMI Classics for Pleasure 5870242 (2005).

Additional recordings are listed on the Coleridge-Taylor page at This composer's music is highly accessible and easily available. I urge you to add his recordings to British Music Radio.

I am copying this email to my associate in the U.K., Michael S. Wright, and my principal advisor, Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma of Lawrence University Conservatory, Appleton, Wisconsin. Feel free to contact them if you wish. I hope to hear from you.

William J. Zick
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Fela Sowande, Called 'Father of Nigerian Art Music' by Bode Omojola, Born May 29, 1905

[Fela Sowande (1905-1987)]

The Nigerian composer, organist and Professor Olufela Sowande was born in Oyo, Nigeria on May 29, 1905 and is profiled at Bode Omojola, Ph.D., chronicles his life and career in the 1995 book, Nigerian Art Music, in which he observes: “Fela Sowande is undoubtedly the father of modern Nigerian Art Music and perhaps the most distinguished and internationally known African composer. The most significant pioneer-composer of works in the European classical idiom, his works mark the beginning of an era of modern Nigerian Art Music.” Dr. Dominique-René de Lerma has posted an excerpt on Fela Sowande from a manuscript on Black composers: Prof. De Lerma's biography of the composer includes a detailed Works List and a Bibliography.

The African Suite (24:52) of Fela Sowande was recorded on CD in 1994 on CBC Records SMCD 5135. The CBC Vancouver Orchestra is led by Mario Bernardi, Conductor. The liner notes outline the history and composition of the work: “The African Suite, written in 1944, combines well-known West African musics with European forces and methods. For the opening movement, Joyful Day, Sowande uses a melody written by Ghanaian composer Ephrain Amu, as he does in the fourth movement, Onipe. In Nostalgia, Sowande composes a traditional slow movement to express his nostalgia for the homeland (in itself a rather European idea). At the centre of the work is a restive Lullaby, based on a folk original. The finale of the Suite, Akinla, traces a very singular musical history. It began as a popular Highlife tune - Highlife being a pungent, 20th-century style, combining colonial Western military and popular music with West African elements and a history of its own.”

Organ music of Fela Sowande was performed by organist Douglas Brown in Richmond, Virginia on Oct. 8, 2009 as part of The International Year of the Organ, observed by the American Guild of Organists and its Richmond Chapter. Frequent media references, particularly in Nigeria, attest to the enduring significance of the role of Fela Sowande in the classical music of Nigeria, Africa and the world.

Mack Statham's 'Rhapsody On A Motherless Child' in 'Classical Music of African American Composers' June 4, Laurel, MD

[H. Leslie Adams]
Laurel Leader
Posted 5/27/10
“Classical Music of African American Composers -- Father-son pianists Mack Statham and Robert Statham perform Friday, June 4 at 7:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 424 Main St. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for light refreshments. The concert will include one of Mack Statham's own compositions and works by Margaret Bonds, Calvin Taylor, Florence B. Price and H. Leslie Adams. This is First United Methodist's annual Missions and Masterworks concert and donations will be accepted to benefit Side by Side, an organization working to strengthen local public schools. 301-725-3093.

“Dr. Mack Statham holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Hampton University, has taken graduate studies at the Peabody Conservatory, the University of Santa Clara, and Indiana University, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music degree from Virginia Seminary and College. Dr. Statham has taught music in public schools in North Carolina, Delaware, and Baltimore; he has performed throughout the U.S. as a pianist and organist; and he is a career church musician...” “In addition, he is an accomplished composer with several major works for chorus, piano, and instrumental ensemble. In January 1997, Dr. Mack Statham performed the organ postlude at the National Prayer Service for President Clinton's Inaugural Celebration. He teaches private piano lessons at the Laurel School of Music.

AfriClassical was able to interview Mack Statham by phone on May 28, 2010. He told us the work he will premiere on Friday, June 4 is Rhapsody On A Motherless Child. The work is based on the traditional spiritual Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child. Mr. Statham explained that the music was originally composed for solo piano, but for this concert has been arranged for performance on two pianos, played by himself and his son Robert Statham. The performance time is 25-30 minutes, and the classical Theme and Variations structure is employed in the piece.

Mack Statham has been Minister of Music at First United Methodist Church of Laurel, Maryland for 8 years, beginning in 2002. He was Minister of Music at Asbury Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. for 10 years, and held the same position at Metropolitan United Methodist Church in Baltimore for 25 years. One of his best known compositions is Trilogy of Dreams, written for chorus, orchestra, two pianos and an organ. The music is based on three African American spirituals often sung by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Free At Last, Oh Freedom and We Shall Overcome. [H. Leslie Adams (b.1932), Margaret A. Bonds (1913-1972) and Florence B. Price (1887-1953) are profiled at, where Works Lists by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma of Lawrence University Conservatory are featured.]

Comment by email:
Bill, Thanks for the update and on continuing to seek more information on this. Leslie

Friday, May 28, 2010

Columbus State Community College Plays Works of William Grant Still in Free Concert June 1

[William Grant Still (Photo is the sole property of William Grant Still Music, and is used with permission.]

The Columbus dispatch
Thursday, May 27, 2010 6:34 AM
By Bill Mayr
“After a decade's worth of effort, musicians from Columbus State Community College will get the chance to perform on a stage once filled by John Philip Sousa. The Tuesday concert at the Southern Theatre will serve as a rite of passage for the college's four performance groups - Chorus Columbus State, the Gospel Vocal Ensemble, the Woodwind Ensemble and the Concert Band.

“The concert will be the first for the groups in the theater. 'I've been working on this for 10 years, to get us into the Southern,' said Thomas Lloyd, who teaches music history at the college and directs the Concert Band and Woodwind Ensemble. Lloyd sought the Southern for a pair of reasons. 'It does lend us a degree of credibility,' he said. 'And it's a wonderful venue.' The four groups will perform some classics of band and choral music.”

“The band will also play a movement from Afro-American Symphony by William Grant Still, a mid-20th-century composer whose career included stints in Ohio.” “The Woodwind Ensemble will play Folk Suite No. 1 by Still. The Southern Theatre concert is a milestone for Columbus State, but the performance groups have built momentum in recent years. The gospel group, for example, had 18 public performances during winter quarter. It has appeared in prisons; at festivals; and at venues such as the Statehouse, the King Arts Complex and the Lincoln Theatre, Easton said.”
[William Grant Still (1895-1978) is profiled at, where a complete Works List by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma of Lawrence University Conservatory is found.]

Comment by email:
Bill, Thanks for the additional PR. Best wishes, Thomas Lloyd

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sheet Music Query: 'Romance' on Alto Saxophone by William Grant Still; Answer:

[Africa: Piano Music of William Grant Still; Denver Oldham, piano; Koch 3 7084 2H1 (1991)]

A question about sheet music of William Grant Still appears today at

May 27, 2010
“Saxophone Sheet Music?
Does anyone know where I can get the sheet music for the piece 'Romance' by William Grant Still on alto saxophone?”

This answer was posted today by “MusikFind”:
“1. Can be ordered from any music dealer with the information below.
2. From the publisher Bourne Music.
3. From the composer’s website.

“Saxophone and Piano (or Trombone and Piano)
Adaptation of the Still work by Douglas Yeo. This piece is for saxophone and piano, or trombone and piano. (The trombone transcription was done by Douglas Yeo.)
This piece is also available for saxophone or trombone and chamber orchestra.
Duration (in min.): 5:50, Publisher: Bourne/IMC.
Price: $18.95/version (score and part)”

The information can be found at William Grant Still Music,, under “Works for Solo Instruments and Piano1.” William Grant Still Music is operated by the composer's daughter, Judith Anne Still. It offers a wide array of sheet music, recordings, books and other items. [William Grant Still (1895-1978) is profiled at, where a complete Works List by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma of Lawrence University Conservatory is found.]

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 'NYC tribute for composer' Hale Smith May 17, 2010

[An Evening of Music by Hale Smith, "As an artist, I belong to no faction or group. My music represents no ideology or style, and is only an expression of who I am." The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Monday 17 May 2010]

By Laura Rivera
“Throughout his decades-long career in music, Hale Smith composed an oeuvre rich in scope, ranging freely from classical to jazz and other idioms. Works by the Freeport musician were performed during his lifetime by such prominent orchestras as the New York Philharmonic and jazz standouts like Dizzy Gillespie. Tonight, in a posthumous tribute, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Manhattan will present music composed by Smith, who died in November at 84.

“Smith's wife, Juanita, 82, selected music for the program and invited Smith's former students and colleagues to perform. Violinist Sanford Allen, 71, a friend and collaborator of Smith's since the 1950s and the first African-American member of the New York Philharmonic, said that while Smith was outspoken about his theories on music and life, 'he was a man who was open to other points of view.' Smith even acknowledged preferring Allen's approach to one of Smith's own compositions, 'Epicedial Variations.'”

“Besides composing, Smith was a performer, arranger and educator, teaching at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University and the University of Connecticut in Storrs before retiring from there in 1984. Kenneth Adams, 64, chairman of the performing arts department at CUNY York College in Queens, called Smith a mentor and 'a complete musician' who defied being pigeonholed. 'He didn't want to be judged as a black composer, but rather as an American composer,' Adams said.”

An Evening of Music by Hale Smith


Epicedial Variations
Sanford Allen, Violin
Joseph Joubert, Piano
The Epicedial Variations were written in memory of Ward Lewis and the theme is based on an anagram of his name (not as part of a tone row, however, as the composition is not serial). The variations maintain a somber quality throughout, rising to occasional dramatic outbursts; after a chorale with canon (Var. IV) follows a declamatory piano solo, dissolving into a violin cadenza leading to the Finale, which is reminiscent of the first variation.

Variations For Six Players
Evelyn Golz, Piano
David Wechsler, Flute
Megan Weiss-Marole, Oboe
Liz Player, Clarinet
Deryck Clarke, French Horn
Amy Fraser, Bassoon

Variations À Due
Jimmy Cozier, Saxophone
Lawrence Zoernig, Cello


Special Guest Artist Marilyn Harris Performing “Ain't Got Nothin' On You”

T.K. Blue And Ensemble
Carlton Holmes, Piano
Corcoran Holt, Bass
Alvin Atkinson, Drums
Benny Powell, Trombone
T.K. Blue, Saxophone And Flute


“I Love Music”
“Frozen Mist”
“Mountain Oysters”

Bonus Attraction: Randy Weston

The last page of the program reproduces a 4-paragraph typewritten letter, with the salutation “Dear Hale.” It is dated September 3, 1958 and is on letterhead of "Langston Hughes, 20 East 127th Street, New York 35, N.Y." It opens with: “Stanley tells me you're the best jazz pianist in Cleveland, and work with some good groups. Let's do a Poetry-to-Jazz program together in November, just after I speak at Antioch on November 18th.” The closing is: “Best ever, and come back to visit Harlem soon, Sincerely, Langston” [Hale Smith is profiled at, which features a complete Works List compiled by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma of Lawrence University Conservatory, Appleton, Wisconsin.]

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

3rd Movement of Leo Brouwer’s 'El Decameron Negro' in Douglas Pew's Version of 'Carnival of the Animals'

[Leo Brouwer]
Mary Ellyn Hutton
Posted: May 24, 2010
Premieres are the stuff of legend, with ink still wet on manuscript paper, bemused performers and work-in-progress performances. The premiere of “Carnival of the Animals” by the chamber ensemble concert:nova Sunday evening in Cincinnati Ballet studios on Central Parkway may have looked easy, but it was not like pulling a rabbit out of hat. Nor was it just another first performance. In pre-concert remarks, composer Douglas Pew said he doesn’t expect to hear his 'Swan' again, but Pew is almost certainly wrong. With vision and countless hours of devotion, concert:nova has hatched a creature with legs with this affectionate re-visit to Saint-Saens' beloved classic.

“What have we here? Eleven members of concert:nova, including pianists Albert Mühlböck and Julie Spangler, performed the familiar 'Carnival of the Animals' interleaved with brand new takes on the suite by 15 composers. This expanded, updated 'Carnival of the Animals' was performed with dance episodes choreographed by Heather Britt and other members of Cincinnati Ballet. The dancing was the unifying element as Saint-Saens’ 15 animals passed in review in a stylistic array that scanned 19th to 21st century composition. The performance, in CB's Mickey Kaplan Performance Studio, was led with great skill by Annunziata Tomaro, conductor of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Concert Orchestra.”

“CB principal dancer Olgucan Borova, complete with tail, portrayed Saint-Saens’ 'Marche royale du lion' with great, heroic leaps, pelvic thrusts and Elvis-like gestures. Jeff Silva’s 'Leo,' based on the third movement of Afro-Cuban composer Leo Brouwer’s 'El Decameron Negro,' featured c:n's Randolph Bowman in a myriad of effects on the flute as the lion was joined by a captivating lioness. [The Afro-Cuban guitarist, composer and conductor Leo Brouwer (b. 1939) is profiled at] Celebrates 10 Years Promoting African Heritage in Classical Music

[Violin Concertos by Black Composers of the 18th & 19th Centuries; Rachel Barton Pine, Violin; Encore Chamber Orchestra; Daniel Hege, Conductor; Cedille 90000 035 (1997).] says of Leonard Bernstein, “Bernstein conducted his first Young People's Concert on January 18, 1958, just two weeks after becoming Music Director of the New York Philharmonic.” I grew up with limited access to classical music, but Leonard Bernstein's engaging Sunday broadcasts showed me what rich enjoyment and appreciation classical music could bring to my life. My Dad's collection of 78 rpm jazz recordings completely filled a record chest. My Dad knew I preferred classical music to jazz, so he often assured me that Duke Ellington and other jazz composers were capable of writing classical music.

My Dad passed away long before I stumbled upon my first classical CDs by Black composers, two 1993 Chandos recordings of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Neeme Järvi. The works were William Grant Still's Symphony No. 1 (Afro-American) (24:10) and Symphony No. 2 (Song of a New Race) (29:22); William Levi Dawson's Negro Folk Symphony (28:26), and two suites of Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington, Harlem (15:48), orchestrated by Luther Henderson; and Suite from “The River” (26:50), with orchestration by Ron Collier.

I was elated by this discovery, but also profoundly angry that 33 years of regular listening to classical music had not introduced me to these or other classical Composers of African Descent. I had previously been on the staff of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights for several years, so I decided upon a personal Civil Rights campaign to promote awareness of African Heritage in Classical Music.

I began to build a collection of CDs of Black Composers. The CBS Black Composers Series of LP records was also recorded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, in the 1970s, under the direction of Maestro Paul Freeman and with research provided by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma. Among the composers represented was Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799).

In 1997, the young violinist Rachel Barton Pine recorded the first U.S. CD of Saint-Georges, Violin Concertos by Black Composers of the 18th & 19th Centuries. Rachel was accompanied by the Encore Chamber Orchestra and Daniel Hege, Conductor, on Cedille 90000 035 (1997). This landmark CD is still in print 13 years after its release. Classics Today gave the disc its highest rating, “10/10.” The New York Times was also enthusiastic about it. The moment I laid eyes on the cover etching of Saint-Georges, dressed in concert finery but wielding a sword in place of a baton, I knew I had what I needed for a website.

May of 2000 was the first full month for the new website, initially named for Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges. By year's end the site had 15 composers and was called “Composers of African Descent.” As with other artists added later, each was a classical composer, conductor or instrumentalist. I felt vocalists of African Descent had received more recognition than people in these three categories, and I knew I had more interest and expertise in instrumental music.

Early in 2001, Jean-Claude Halley of Guadeloupe contacted me and sent me a copy of Le Fleuret et l'Archet (The Sword and the Bow), a lavish, fact-filled exhibit catalog for the first Saint-Georges Exposition. Jean-Claude Halley was President of the Saint-Georges Association, and remains so today. He and I have shared research and materials since that time, and I am proud to call him a friend.

The “About Us” page preserves the Guest Book entry which would change the course of the website: "This is an excellent public service, very informative and quite sophisticated." Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma, Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin, U.S., June 28, 2002.

Prof. De Lerma's name had come to my attention numerous times by then, and I was elated by his overture. We soon began corresponding, and eventually he became principal advisor to the website. He was former Director of the Center for Black Music Research, and had concentrated on Black Classical Music since 1969.

Prof. De Lerma made his authoritative research files available exclusively to In many cases, these included Works Lists and Bibliographies with hundreds of entries. On the William Grant Still page, for example, the first 48 paragraphs are surpassed in length by Prof. De Lerma's Works List and Bibliography by at least 10 to 1!

Dominique introduced me to Judith Anne Still, who promotes and distributes her father's sheet music and recordings via William Grant Still Music,; Rashida Black of the Myrtle Hart Society,, which promotes Classical Musicians of Color; Michael S. Wright, Chair of the International Society for African to American Music, now in Devon in the U.K.,; Dr. Fred Onovwerosuoke, a Ghanaian-born American composer who is Founder and Artistic Director of African Musical Arts, Inc.,; and Suzanne Flandreau, Head Librarian and Archivist, Center for Black Music Research, Columbia College Chicago,

I was able to contribute research for the 2003 CBC Television special Le Mozart Noir, released on DVD in 2005, so my name was listed in the credits. In 2004, the 3 top-level pages were subordinated to a new home page, “”

Also in 2004, Dominique put me in touch with another friend of his who became a friend of mine: Daniel Marciano, a writer, fencing expert and former Professor at the University of Franche-Comté in Besançon, France. Daniel began providing the first professional translations of the biographical page on Saint-Georges, which was revised with the releases of biographies by Claude Ribbe, Gabriel Banat and Pierre Bardin. He translated many other pages at the site from English to French, and has very generously continued to assist the website with his expertise on the fencing career of Saint-Georges, among other topics.

During 2005 the increasing time and expense required by each addition to the website made it necessary to cap the number of biographies at 52, of which 41 are composers and 11 are musicians. By 2006 I was frequently sending this message: “The absence of the person you have suggested is not in fact an oversight. is an introductory resource. It was not designed to be a comprehensive reference work such as the International Dictionary of Black Composers.”

Some of the overflow has been addressed with a companion blog, launched in 2007, The blog has been especially useful for transcripts of interviews. The two people interviewed most recently are African American Composer & Professor Adolphus C. Hailstork; and Afro-Brazilian Classical Guitarist and Composer Celso Machado, who is anticipating publication of a book of sheet music, Brazilian Music With Baroque Inspiration.

On Nov. 7, 2009, AfriClassical Blog proudly posted: “Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma: Scholar of Black Classical Music for 40 Years.” As turns 10, it is only fitting to note that Prof. De Lerma's scholarship and generosity have enabled it and its companion blog to achieve their present roles in promoting awareness of African Heritage in Classical Music.

Comments by email:
Bonjour: Bravissimo for the celebration of ten years promoting African Heritage of symphonic music. Thank you for your kind words when mentioning my modest contribution. It has been a real pleasure to correspond with you. Daniel Marciano
Happy Birthday AfriClassical...Time is going so fast...But it was a great pleasure to see you come up to be the greatest site on Promoting African Heritage in Classical Music and on Saint-Georges. Happy Birthday to Bill. Jean-Claude-HALLEY
Many congratulations, Bill. Yours is a very valuable work in the world. Judith Anne Still

Zoe Hallsworth on Clarinet in 'Three Smiles for Tracey' (6:57) by Adolphus Hailstork, on YouTube

[Adolphus C. Hailstork (b. 1941)]

May 24, 2010
Performed by Zoe Hallsworth
12th May 2010
Dartington College of Arts
My Interpretation of these solo contemporary clarinet pieces performed for my final performance.”

Composer Adolphus C. Hailstork (b. 1941) is an Eminent Scholar at Old Dominion University. His compositions appear on an amazing total of 27 CDs! On April 21, 2010 proudly announced a new biography of Adolphus C. Hailstork in his own words. The website now features the composer's comments on his entire career, including 53 years of composing, teaching since 1969, and a vast body of works in almost every imaginable form. “Classical Musician Awadagin Pratt Hosts 'Keys to Wellness' Concert” May 29, Kansas City, Missouri

[Awadagin Pratt: Beethoven Piano Sonatas, EMI 55290 (1996)]

The African American classical pianist Awadagin Pratt, whose website is, has been featured by AfriClassical several times, most recently on Oct. 29, 2009: “African American Pianist Awadagin Pratt Plays at White House in Nov. 4 Evening Concert.” He will host an event in Kansas City, Missouri on Saturday, May 29, 2010:
"Sat., May 29, 7:00pm-9:00pm
Afrikan Centered Collegium Campus
Kansas City, Missouri
Price: General admission is $35 and VIP tickets are $75
The Lady of Freedom Foundation's Urban Wellness Campus is proud to present this award-winning African American pianist in Keys to Wellness. All tickets are tax deductible and support the Lady of Freedom Foundation and its initiatives. VIP guests receive tickets to the 'Bach to Basie' Meet & Greet event with Awadagin Pratt at the Mutual Musicians Foundation, reserved seating, gift and will be listed in the program book as a supporter."