William Grant Still

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William Grant Still
Afro-American Symphony

About William Grant Still

William Grant Still has been called the Dean of Afro-American composers. Judith Anne Still, the composer's daughter, talks with Naomi Lewin about her father's life, and the difficulty he faced in the first half of 20th century America as a black man writing classical music.

The Music of Freedom
The songs that helped the slaves escape to the north, as well as others that celebrate freedom.

Judith Anne Still
The daughter of William Grant Still, Judith Anne Still now dedicates herself to getting her father's music recorded and played by orchestras. She visited WGUC in May 2000. Here are excerpts from her conversation with Naomi Lewin.
A victrola brings opera music into the home, inspiring William Grant Still from a young age
Still's start in music
Still prayed that music would help him bring races together
Race relations through music were his proudest moments
His creative process'
Still was constantly revising his music
Still couldn't get his music recorded while he was alive

Track list:
William Grant Still: Danzas de Panama
William Grant Still: Indian Moccasin Game
William Grant Still: (spiritual) Motherless Child
William Grant Still: Garde Piti Mulet La
William Grant Still: Afro-American Symphony
William Grant Still: Symphony #2
William Grant Still: Get on Board

Classics for Kids Quiz

1. William Grant Still's grandmother sang what sort of music to him?




nursery rhymes

2.William Grant Still was the first African-American to

win an Oscar

conduct a major American orchestra

play the piano in a public concert

compose an oper

3. What new invention did Still's stepfather bring into the house?

electric guitar


player piano

CD player

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