Still, William Grant. (1895–1978)
Signed Concert Program
Concert program from a March 27, 1966 performance by the Tucson High School Fine Arts concert band, signed to cover in blue ink by the American composer. Still served as guest conductor that evening, leading the high school band in performance of his Little Red School House and selections taken from The American Scene. Toning to interior pages, else in fine condition. 5.5 x 9 inches (14 x 22.9 cm.).
Still was nicknamed the "Dean of African American Composers" in recognition of his many accomplishments. He was the first African American to have a symphony performed by a professional orchestra, the first to conduct a major American orchestra performing his own music, the first to have an opera performed by a major opera company, and the first to have an opera nationally televised. "Though more well-known today as a symphonist, he embraced all of America’s music, composing and arranging a variety of works from film scores, art songs and popular music to symphonies, operas, concerti, and chamber music. Still flourished in his compositional career; during a time when Jazz was the epitome of Black artistic expression, he managed to forge a difficult path and claim his right of access to the world of classical music." ("Composer in Context: William Grant Still," American Symphony Orchestra, americansymphony.org)