ARKANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY, Volume
XXIV, Number 4 (Winter 1965), p. 308
William Grant Still
BY MARY D. HUDGINS
HONORING -THE 70TH BIRTHDAY OF WILLIAM GRANT
STILL (1), OUTSTANDING AMERICAN composer, a number of 1965 musicals were
scheduled throughout the United States and even in Europe. Among groups
lauding Dr. Still's fifty years of significant contributions to the musical
scene were: Abilene Philharmonic Association, Albuquerque Civic Symphony,
Amherst Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Eastman School of Music, Goldman
Band, Indianapolis Symphony, University of Miami Symphony, National Gallery
Orchestra, Rochester Civic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic of London, Bureau
of Music of Los Angeles and the Tucson Symphony. There was also a testimonial
banquet given in his honor by the Los Angeles League of Allied Arts in the
new Music Center of that city.
- Dr. Still is virtually a native of Little Rock; and was graduated at
the age of 16 as valedictorian of the 1912 class of Dunbar High School.
He is frequently heralded as "the dean of Negro composers." Throughout
the years he has contributed rich and varied scores to musical America.
His operas, symphonies, ballets, and other compositions have won critical
acclaim. Nor has he scorned writing for multiple combinations of smaller
instrumental groups, as well as for chorus and solo singers.
- 1. Special thanks are due Miss Clara B. Kennan, Little Rock, author
of "Native of Little Rock Is Widely
- Celebrated Negro Composer," Arkansas Gazette, Aug. 5, 1951,
who furnished the present author with much of the material used in this
article. Additional material is from Who's Who in America; John
Trasher Howard, Our American Music (New York, 1946); Langston Hughes,
Famous Negro Music Makers (New York, 1955).