William Grant Still is now in the Database

Composer William Grant Still (1895-1978), long considered “Dean of African-American Classical Composers” is now listed in the database. Still is known for inserting African-American folk songs and spirituals into his compositions. Two ballets are listed in the database, 1937’s Lenox Avenue and 1941’s Miss Sally’s Party.

In Lenox Avenue, Still called for 3 saxophonists, Alto, Alto/Bari, and Tenor. In the recording, the baritone saxophone in a quasi-swing style.

The next work, Miss Sally’s Dance uses the Tenor Saxophone as a solo instrument. The ballet is made up of various dance movements, most based in American folk tradition. To hear this ballet, here is a link to the full playlist.

William Grant Still’s music can be found at the website, http://www.williamgrantstillmusic.com/. Here you can find historical information, recordings, and scores.

Published by Mary Huntimer

Saxophonist, teacher, opera and silent movie enthusiast. All opinions are my own.

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