8 PM concert in Schuster Center, part of the William Grant Still Festival 2008 held in conjunction with Wilberforce University details the story behind the remarkable African American composer’s works
On Friday, December 5 at 8 pm in the Schuster Center, as part of the William Grant Still Festival 2008 DPO Music Director Neal Gittleman and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra will present Portrait: William Grant Still, a musical program featuring the works of arguably the world’s greatest African American composer William Grant Still. Still studied theory and composition at Ohio’s Wilberforce University and Oberlin Conservatory. His first compositions were for film (Lost Horizon and Pennies from Heaven) and television. Guests pianist Everett Jones helps Neal Gittleman examine three of the best examples of Still’s classical work, including his famous Afro-American Symphony featuring guest Herbert Martin narrating the poetry of Dayton native Paul Laurence Dunbar. The symphony’s blues inflections and energetic cross-rhythms are “a landmark in the history of American music as the first symphonic work by an African-American composer performed by a major orchestra.”
Judith Still, the composer’s daughter, will join Neal Gittleman on stage to talk about her father and Kaintuck’ during the first half and take part in the Q&A afterwards with Everett Jones and Neal.
“William Grant Still was not only a pioneering African American composer,” Everett Jones states,” but an American composer who sought to unite different cultures through music; the festival is a celebration of his life and works, and it commemorates the 30th anniversary of his death.”
This concert honors the Dayton Daily News Ten Top Women .
Tickets $12 – $41.
For photographs of Neal Gittleman or any of the various series’ guest artists, go to: