ARKANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY, Volume XXIV, Number 4 (Winter 1965), p. 308


An Outstanding

Arkansas Composer

William Grant Still


Hot Springs

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).







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