Thursday, March 19, 2009 'Students and professional musicians celebrate Harlem Renaissance composer'

Afro-American Symphony; William Grant Still; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Karl Kruger, conductor; Bridge 9086 (1999)
by Bradley Bambarger/For The Star-Ledger 
Thursday March 19, 2009, 2:21 PM
American Symphony Orchestra. When and where: 3 p.m. Sunday, Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall, 65th Street and Broadway, New York; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Conlin Auditorium, St. Benedict's Preparatory School Auditorium, 520 Martin Luther King Blvd., Newark. How much: $28-$57 in New York; visit or call (212) 721-6500.   Free in Newark; visit or call (973) 792-5800.

A 'crescendo of effort' is how teachers at St. Benedict's Preparatory School describe this week's culmination of the Newark institution's yearlong exploration of the Harlem Renaissance. The New York-based American Symphony Orchestra has been working closely with St. Benedict's teachers and students in a humanities program that links music, literature, visual arts and journalism. Some 100 students will attend the ASO's Lincoln Center performance this Sunday for free, with the concert revolving around African-American composer William Grant Still. On Thursday, ASO players will perform alongside student musicians in a concert at the school.”

“Clifford Brooks, the ASO's New Jersey-based education adviser for Music Notes, says 'the orchestra's musicians love really sharing their knowledge and passion with teachers and students, rather than just coming in to perform and leave.' Sunday's Lincoln Center concert, conducted by ASO music director Leon Botstein (also president of Bard College), will include the tone poems 'Darker America' and 'Africa' by the [Mississippi-born] Still (1895-1978). Also featured will be Still's 'Symphony No. 2' debuted by Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1937). Works by Still's teachers George Chadwick and Edgard Varese share the bill. The St. Benedict's program will include choral works by Still set to poems by fellow Harlem Renaissance artist Langston Hughes.” [Full Post] [William Grant Still (1895-1978) is profiled at, where a complete Works List by Dr. Dominique-René de Lerma is also found]

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