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School of Music, Theatre & Dance pres.

Sounding New: Black Art Song in the Twenty-First Century

Panel Discussion
This session explores how contemporary artists continue to build on this dynamic legacy through musical works that extend the techniques, themes, and concerns of the Black art song into the twenty-first century.

Introduction: Stephen Michael Newby, Seattle Pacific University
Moderator: Uzee Brown, Morehouse College
Panelists: Britney Boykin, Spelman College; Adolphus Hailstork, Old Dominion University; Dave Ragland, and Darryl Taylor, University of California - Irvine

In 1916, concert artist, arranger, music editor, and composer, Harry T. Burleigh (1866-1949), published Jubilee Songs of the United States. Arranged for piano and voice, the songs represented a landmark as it established the solo Black art song as a distinct genre. Willis Patterson’s landmark collection, Anthology of Art Songs by Black American Composers was published in 1977. Its influence on the post-Civil Rights era pedagogy and performance of Black concert music has been inestimable. By building on Burleigh’s legacy, Patterson’s anthology has been central to establishing Black art songs as an important tradition of practice in American concert life on par with German Lieder and French Chanson.


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