Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Portales News-Tribune: Residents march in memory of MLK [William Grant Still's "Songs of Separation" was Performed by a Professor and a Student of ENMU]

William Grant Still (1895-1978) is profiled at AfriClassical.com, which features a comprehensive Works List by Dr. Dominique-Rene de Lerma.

Portales, New Mexico

January 18, 2016

The MLK marching parade started at the Memorial Building and ended at ENMU’s [Eastern New Mexico University's] Buchanan Hall where a presentation was held.
The presentation featured a tribute and performance of the work of African American composer William Grant Still by ENMU Music Professor Dr. Jean Wozencraft-Ornellas and student Roberto Garza, as well as a speech by Portales Schools Superintendent Johnnie Cain and a Q&A session with current Portales High School Principal Mark Gormley.
Wozencraft-Ornellas said her presentation was on an artist, who “So successfully navigated a world that was very much a white world at a time when black composers were just starting to be recognized, but only in certain genres.”
According to Ornellas, “William Grant Still was able to carve a way for himself and future black composers and performers and conductors in some amazing ways.”
Her presentation highlighted Still’s career and how made a name for himself as one of the most renowned African American composers of classical music. After the presentation, Wozencraft-Ornellas was joined by ENMU student Roberto Garza to perform Still’s work “Songs of Separation.”
The parade was attended by several Portales residents, including students of ENMU.

Comment by email:
Thanks, Bill.  You wouldn't believe how busy we are right now.  I think an awareness of the need to get past bigotry has really hit the country.  [Judith Anne Still]

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