Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Helen Walker-Hill (1936-2013), pianist on CD 'Kaleidoscope: Music by African-American Women' and author of 'From Spirituals to Symphonies'

      From Spirituals to Symphonies: African-American Women
Composers and Their Music
by Walker-Hill, Helen
Greenwood Press (2002)
[Composer Regina Harris Baiocchi on cover]

Kaleidoscope: Music by African-American Women
Helen Walker-Hill, piano; Gregory Walker, violin;
Leonarda 339 (1995)
Helen Walker-Hill (1936-2013)

Two examples of the life-long passion of Helen Walker-Hill for African-American and women composers are the CD Kaleidoscope Leonarda 339, on which she is the pianist and her son Gregory Walker is the violinist, and the book From Spirituals to Symphonies: African-American Women Composers and Their Music.  Walker-Hill is credited with the discovery of the career of a Chicago teacher who was also an unknown composer named Irene Britton Smith, who is profiled at

Dr. Dominique-René de Lerma forwards this obituary from The Boulder Daily Camera on Helen Walker-Hill:

Helen Walker-Hill
Helen Siemens Walker-Hill was born May 26, 1936, in Winnipeg, Canada. Dr. Walker-Hill, a pianist and scholar who championed a community of African-American and women composers, served on the faculty of the University of Colorado. She traveled widely, eventually organizing the sales of African crafts for a women's collective in Tanzania: "How grateful I am to have attempted my dreams." Forever beloved by her family, including sister Sylvia Siemens, sons Gregory and Ian Walker, and grandsons Grayson and Dashiel. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages contributions to Heifer International:

Published in The Boulder Daily Camera on August 17, 2013

Dominique-René de Lerma

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