Black History Month Concerts 2023
During Black History Month 2023, the Hayes School of Music and the Department of English present the third annual series of programs celebrating the works of African-American composers. This year, choral and vocal music will be featured. The long history of African-American choral music stretches back to the years shortly following the Civil War. The already rich heritage of Negro Spirituals has continued to deepen and broaden up to the present. Our musical celebration includes work by familiar composers Nathanial Dett, Florence Price, and Moses Hogan as well as less familiar works by Richard Smallwood, J. Rosamund Johnson and Undine Smith Moore. Adding to this especially rich fare, the faculty presents poetry readings, chamber music and jazz. The concerts will be introduced by Jamie Parson, J.D., App State’s Chief Diversity Officer.
In 1976, during the presidency of Gerald Ford, America officially designated the month of February as "Black History Month." The practice of celebrating the achievements of African-Americans in February has been a part of almost every presidential administration since then. The idea of such celebrations goes back to earlier efforts to bring attention to the achievements of Black Americans, especially efforts by the historian Carter Woodson, who co-founded the Association for Negro Life and History in 1915.
We hope that you will join us for this remarkable collection of music and poetry this month of February and encourage you to cultivate your own, informed, curious, and enlivened connection with the composers, poets, and their respective traditions.
- H. Leslie Adams (b. 1932)
- Margaret Bonds (1913-1972)
- Roland Carter (b. 1942)
- William Dawson (1899-1990)
- Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943)
- Ricky Dillard (b. 1965)
- Duke Ellington (1899-1974)
- Darwin Hobbs (b. 1968)
- Moses Hogan (1957-2003)
- J. Rosamond Johnson (1873-1954)
- Scott Joplin (c. 1868-1917)
- L. Viola Kinney (c. 1890-1945)
- Thelonious Monk (1917-1982)
- John Leslie "Wes" Montgomery (1923-1968)
- Undine S. Moore (1904-1989)
- Florence Price (1887-1953)
- Richard Smallwood (b. 1975)
- Langston Hughes (1901-1967)
- Honorée Fanonne Jeffers (b. 1967)
- Haki R. Madhubuti (b. 1942)