Thursday, March 3, 2011

'Fort Smith Symphony Presents The Music of William Grant Still' April 15 & 16; Judith Anne Still is Host

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

Judith Anne Still, daughter of William Grant Still (1895-1978), is a full-time ambassador for his legacy. She is manager of William Grant Still Music,, of Flagstaff, Arizona, an extraordinary source of sheet music, recordings and publications related to her father and other Composers of African Descent. Her work has contributed greatly to the availability and performance of her father's large body of works, which are listed in their entirety, by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma of Lawrence University Conservatory, at

March 2, 2011
“The Fort Smith Symphony is pleased to offer an exciting series of musical and educational activities for the entire community and region April 15 and 16. These opportunities are designed to celebrate the legacy of William Grant Still (1895-1978), Arkansas’s most significant orchestra composer, and America’s foremost African-American composer. Members of the African American community are cordially invited to be the guests of the Symphony for all activities.

“William Grant Still’s career included many 'firsts' for an African-American composer: first to have a symphony performed by a major American orchestra; first to have an opera performed and broadcast by a major opera company; and first to conduct in the Deep South. Still’s music is an outstanding mix of traditional symphonic style and the Blues. His music is genuinely American in flavor, along the lines of Aaron Copeland and George Gershwin.

“Ms. Judith Anne Still, daughter of William Grant Still, will be in Fort Smith to serve as the host for the Fort Smith Symphony’s Saturday evening concert and to lead several events. On Friday, April 15 at 12:00 at the Windsor Branch of the Fort Smith Public Library, Ms. Still will lead a public forum on Equality Achieved Through Music.”

“Saturday, April 16, 96 musicians and 1,300 concert ticket holders will convene for the concert to celebrate the legacy of the 'Dean of African-American composers.' The Symphony Concert will be held in the Arkansas Best Corporation Performing Arts Center.

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