Saturday, February 6, 2010

'Black Classical Musicians in Philadelphia' by Elaine Mack is Topic of WHYY Radio Feb. 12, 11 AM

[Elaine Mack]

Richard Greene is the creator of a valuable reference site, "
Classical Music Recordings of Black Composers: A Comprehensive Reference Guide to Recorded Works Available on Compact Disc,
1990 to the present," It has long been linked to the Composers of African Descent section of He has also operated an online calendar called “Black Classical Musicians and Concerts,” for Philadelphia and the surrounding area. We received this message from himon Feb. 5, 2010:

“This is to inform you I have been notified that Philly's public broadcasting station WHYY has just booked a show regarding the book Black Classical Musicians in Philadelphia. The book's author, Elaine Mack, developed oral histories spanning four generations of black men and women. Program guests will be Ms. Mack along with two of the book's subjects; David Lofton (piano) and Blanche Burton Lyles (vocal and Marian Anderson Museum).
The program, Radio Times (WHYY) with host Marty Moss-Coane, is to be aired Friday, February 12th from 11 a.m. to noon. Also to be available online based on personal listening schedules. Regards, Richard

Elaine Mack left a post in the Guest Book at on Feb. 5:
I am a cellist, teacher, and author who has just released her first book, Black Classical Musicians in Philadelphia: oral histories covering four generations. The product of 14 years of work, this book consists of personal interviews with Black musicians who were born, bred, educated, or made major contributions to the musical life of Philadelphia. Also included is an extensive historical perspective, photos from private collections and more. Presently, it is available from my website...

She added the address of her website,, and explained: “Just wanted to be sure my website is readily available. I'm happy to have found


Wilmer Wise said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wilmer Wise said...

Gee, did I offend my Philadelphia colleagues?
I was Born and raised in Philadelphia. I studied at the Settlement School, played in the All-Philadelphia High School Orchestra with James DePriest. I was soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra.....I think I might have been the first black musician to be hired as an extra player with the orchestra. In the sixties I was First Trumpet of the Pennsylvania Ballet and just about every orchestra in town......I guess this stuff doesn't count.
Wilmer Wise

Unknown said...

I did the bulk of interviews for Black Classical Musicians in Philadelphia back in 1995, and at that time never knew of Wilmer Wise. No one I knew even mentioned his name. It was not my intention to exclude of offend anyone, but there are limits to the number of musicians one can write about effectively at one time. If anything, it shows how many very fine musicians of note there are in Philadelphia. One stated purpose of my book is to provide incentive for people to seek out the musicians of accomplishment in their midst. This also applies to those musicians themselves who may feel that they should have been included. Perhaps a sequel to this book is in order.