Nora Holt (1885- 1974): An accomplished singer, composer, and music critic, she was the first African-American to receive a master’s degree in the United States.
Florence Price (1887-1953): The first African-American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer, and have a composition played by a major orchestra. In 1932 she composed Symphony in E minor and in 1933 it was performed by Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Shirley Graham Du Bois (1896-1977): The first African American woman to compose an opera for a major professional opera company. Tom Tom: An Epic of Music and the Negro was written and performed by The Stadium Opera Company in 1932.
Margaret Bonds (1913-1972): One of the first African-American composers and performers to gain national recognition in the United States. Some of her pieces include The Negro Speaks of Rivers (1942), and Shakespeare in Harlem (1959).
Julia Amanda Perry (1924-1979): Composer and teacher known for her fusion of black spiritual music and a neoclassical compositional style. Some of her compositions include Stabat Mater (1951) and The Cask of Amontillado (1954). Julia Perry’s Short Piece for Orchestra was recently performed by the Michigan Philharmonic as part of their Women Composer Series.
The last composer in the series will be Alice Gomez. Her compositions integrate both ethnic tradition with the universal language of classical music. Mixing extrinsic ideologies and culture with classical music is a technique used by many composers in history who helped reshape what classical music is today. The Michigan Philharmonic will be performing the World Premier of Alice Gomez’s 112 Degrees on April 1, 2017 as part of their Phil-Palooza Concert at 7:30 in the Plymouth Arts and Recreation Complex Gym in Plymouth.
And join us at The Village Theater at Cherry Hill in Canton this upcoming Saturday, February 11, at 7:30 for Couch Potato Pops (Favorite TV tunes) in celebration of Valentine’s weekend.