Saturday, February 16, 2019 Free Concert Celebrates Mississippi Composer [William Grant Still]

William Grant Still (1895-1978)

Dr. Artina McCain

University of Mississippi News

February 15, 2019

By Lynn Wilkins

OXFORD, Miss. – William Grant Still is known around the world for his significant contributions not only to African-American music, but to the American classical music cannon.

“The American South is blessed with rich African-American musical traditions, and though we immediately think of jazz and blues, we can also think of classical music,” said George Worlasi Kwasi Dor, professor of ethnomusicology at the University of Mississippi.

A concert celebrating Still, a native Mississippian, is set for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (Feb. 19) in Nutt Auditorium. Free and open to the public, the concert is part of the university’s celebration of Black History Month.

The concert program, which focuses on Still’s instrumental music, features guest pianist Artina McCain, a performer and professor at the University of Memphis. The UM Symphonic Band, Fraternity String Quartet, UM Steel Orchestra, Ole Miss African Drum and Dance Ensemble, and faculty and student soloists also will perform.

Adrienne Park, UM instructor in music, will perform on piano as both a soloist and accompanist.

“In addition to presenting ‘Summerland’ as a solo piece, I’m looking forward to performing ‘Romance’ for saxophone and piano with Christopher Scott, and three arrangements of songs for trumpet and piano with Terrell McGowan entitled ‘Bayou Home,’ ‘If You Should Go’ and ‘Song for the Lonely,'” Park said. “It has been an invigorating experience working with these two dedicated individuals in preparation for this important event in our department.”

Although he drew from global influences, Still’s work is deeply situated in the American South, in its ecology and in the experience and culture of African-Americans.

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