Monday, February 1, 2010

Rockbridge Weekly: 'USSO To Present William Grant Still's Afro-American Symphony' Feb. 13

[Africa: Piano Music of William Grant Still”; Denver Oldham, piano; Koch 3 7084 2H1 (1991)]
Lexington, Virginia
World-renowned Saxophonist Greg Banaaszak featured February 13th
In celebration of Black History month, the University-Shenandoah Symphony Orchestra will
perform William Grant Still's Afro-American Symphony on Saturday, February 13, 2010 at
8 p.m. in the Concert Hall. The concert will feature Cleveland Symphony saxophonist Greg
Banaszak performing Dubois’ Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra and Raman’s Aria for
Alto Saxophone and String Orchestra. The 'Romantic' Symphony of Howard Hanson, a
champion of Grant’s music, will round out the program. Tickets can be purchased on-line
at or call the box office at (540) 458-8000.”

Dominique-René de Lerma comments on Still's
Afro-American Symphony in Africana
Encyclopedia: “
A contemporary of Work and Dawson, William Grant Still based his first
symphony, the
Afro-American Symphony (1930), on the blues and his experience as a
jazz arranger.” Michael Fleming quotes the composer in the liner notes for Chandos
9154 (1993): “I knew I wanted to write a symphony; I knew that it had to be an
American work; and I wanted to demonstrate how the blues, so often considered a
lowly expression, could be elevated to the highest musical level.”
[William Grant Still
(1895-1978) is profiled at, where a complete Works List by Prof.
Dominique-René de Lerma
is found.]

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