William Grant Still

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Presenting the life and professional career of The Dean of Afro-American Composers, this is the first comprehensive book on the writings by and about Still, the compositions with manuscript sources, the performances of Still's works, and the reviews of those performances. It includes a touching personal reminiscence by his daughter Judith Anne. The full resources of the extensive collection known as The William Grant Still and Verna Arvey Papers at the University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville, give this book the distinction of being the first one about Still that utilizes diaries, letters, scrapbooks, and family papers to provide information on his works and performances.

Still performed, composed, and arranged in the commercial music field before he began to write orchestral works and opera. He is called the Dean of Afro-American Composers because of his pioneering efforts on behalf of American music and his achievements as an African American. Still was the first African American to write a symphony that was performed by a major symphony orchestra in the United States, the first to conduct a major symphony orchestra, the first to conduct a major symphony in the Deep South, the first to direct a white radio orchestra, the first to have an opera produced by a major company, and the first to have an opera televised over a national network. His career tells an important story about the development of an American style of music.

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Editorial Reviews

Still (1895-1978) was an African-American composer and performer. The main section of this book lists his large number of works (arranged alphabetically by title), performances, and reviews. Other sections include: a personal reminiscence by his daughter, Judith Anne Still; a biographical sketch; writings by William Grant Still and Verna Arvey, a journalist who promoted his career in her writings; a general bibliography and discography. The first appendix is an alphabetical list of works. The second appendix is a preliminary alphabetical list of currently identified titles of arrangements and orchestrations by Still, including those done for musical theater, radio, television and film. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313252556
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/30/1996
  • Series: Bio-Bibliographies in Music Series
  • Pages: 350
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

JUDITH ANNE STILL is the daughter of William Grant Still and the owner/manager of William Grant Still Music.

MICHAEL J. DABRISHUS is Head of the Special Collections Division and Professor at the University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville, where the papers of William Grant Still and Verna Arvey are located.

CAROLYN L. QUIN is a member of the Music faculty at Riverside Community College in Riverside, California. She was formerly Chair of the Department of Music at Winthrop University and has been on the faculty at Lane College. Her other research interests as a musicologist include Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, multicultural education, and women and music.

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Table of Contents



A Personal Reminiscence of William Grant Still by Judith Anne Still

Biographical Sketch of William Grant Still by Carolyn L. Quin

Works and Performances

Writings by William Grant Still and Verna Arvey

General Bibliography


Appendix A: Alphabetical List of Works

Appendix B: Preliminary List of Arranyements and Orchestrations


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