We return refreshed from our blog hiatus to celebrate Juneteenth! Thank you so much to all our fans who missed us!
A. Kori Hill’s recent article, “Florence Price, NANM, & Self-Determination: Making a way for Black classical artists in Jim Crow America” tells us so much about the importance of community to Price and others. NANM (National Association of Negro Musicians) was a focal point of support for her and others, including composer, organizer, and journalist Nora Holt.
Douglas Shadle’s industrious research on Florence Price is uncovering so much, not only about Price but also about the environment at the New England Conservatory for black students during her era there as well as in preceding years. The climate of Jim Crow had influence in Massachusetts, and these insights help explain why Price gave her nationality as Mexican while enrolled as a student. Shadle is working on a book with Samantha Ege, and presents his findings in articles, part one and part two.
Much about composer Julia Perry remains to be fully researched and recovered, but we appreciate the growing interest in her and her music. Her hometown of Lexington, KY is one of the centers of this appreciation and the Lexington Philharmonic (with conductor Kelly Cororan) recently performed Perry’s Stabat Mater. Watch this TV spot on KET (Kentucky Educational Television, 0:56-7:20) to hear excerpts from that performance, and see rare photos of Perry!
ICYMI, Samantha Ege’s latest album, Black Renaissance Woman, was released earlier this year, and is available in streaming format (such as Spotify), download, and CD as well! The entire CD booklet is available here in PDF, so if you chose the download or stream, you don’t need to miss out on the insights and research about these composers.
Finally, Juneteenth is a U.S. holiday, but the British composer and singer Amanda Aldridge had African American heritage – her father was a noted Black actor from the U.S., while her mother was Swedish. She composed many songs and light orchestral works under the pseudonym Montague Ring. We were thrilled to see her featured in a Google Doodle. More here at Wikipedia.
We hope you have a moving and exciting Juneteenth! Be sure to let us know what music you celebrate to! firstname.lastname@example.org