Three Landmark Music by Black Composers Publications!
Announcing the release of three landmark Music by Black Composers publications!!
Available for order today are the Music by Black Composers Violin Volume I; The Rachel Barton Pine Foundation Coloring Book of Black Composers, with artwork by Sho-mei Pelletier; and the Black Classical Composers timeline poster, designed jointly with the Sphinx Organization.
MBC’s Violin Volume I is published by LudwigMasters, and features 22 works for violin for beginner- and elementary-level players. These works are by 16 Black composers, spanning 1767 to 2014, and representing the United States, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Ghana, Nigeria, Switzerland, France, and England.
Included with the book are streamable reference violin and piano recordings of each piece by Rachel Barton Pine and pianist Matthew Hagle. In addition to music, the book contains biographies of each composer, as well as feature articles: one about Black orchestras past and present, and one and about African-American leaders who played violin. There are also profiles of three Black current role models in classical music: Sphinx founder, Aaron P. Dworkin; founder-director of the Hyde Park Suzuki Institute, Lucinda Ali-Landing; and concert violinist, Tai Murray. Videos of Sphinx laureates Adé Williams and Clayton Penrose-Whitmore performing each piece are also available on MBC’s website.
Violin Volume I is the first in a violin series that will include eight volumes, graded by difficulty from beginner to advanced concerto-level playing. Additional orchestral instruments will be the subject of multiple future MBC volumes, and subsequent publications will include works for school orchestras and chamber ensembles.
The Rachel Barton Pine Foundation Coloring Book of Black Composers features 40 remarkable international Black composers throughout history, and was illustrated by artist and Dallas Symphony violinist Sho-mei Pelletier. Each composer’s vivid illustration is accompanied by a biography that puts his or her life into historical perspective.
In partnership with the Sphinx Organization, MBC has also created a timeline poster designed by Sphinx’s Julie Renfro that features more than 300 Black classical composers from around the world.
Both of these educational tools are also published by LudwigMasters.
These MBC publication releases coincide with Rachel Barton Pine’s Blues Dialogues, an album of classical works written by 20th– and 21st-century composers of African descent released by Cedille Records.
These four projects place Black classical composers and much of their previously overlooked music into today’s cultural consciousness. In doing so, the RBP Foundation hopes to inspire Black students to begin and continue instrumental training, make the music of Black composers available to all people, and help change the face of classical music and its canon.
I just ordered this collection from Shar, and can’t wait to get it! Hopeful for a viola transcription, but also hopeful for more focus on Black voices in classical music.
Hi Kelly! Enjoy Violin Volume 1!
Right now, we plan to get to Viola Volume 1 in Phase 3 of our project timeline (see here). You are welcome to transcribe any music from the violin volume for viola to suit your needs in the meantime!
Thank you! I was just contemplating….I think I’ll transpose as needed and ask each student that benefits to make a small donation to the fund!
you read my mind – thank you for generosity for viola transposition. I figure advanced viola students could/should manage the treble clef just fine anyway!
Dr. James was my voice teacher when I was at Morehouse from 1962 until 1966 with one year 1964-65 spent at Princeton University. I also sang in the Morehouse Glee Club with Dr. Whalum.
I sometimes travelled with Dr. James when he would lecture and I was a performer in his premier production of “candy Man Beechum. I am still singing and I am adult Choral Director for BOSTON’S NATIONAL CENTER OF AFRO AMERICAN ARTISTS production of Langston Hughes “Black Nativity.” I am a retired judge, and also a composer.
Milton L. Wright email@example.com I am the CEO of Commonhouse Theater and Productions, Inc.