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Interactive: North Carolina Symphony Blog

The Emancipation Proclamation.... and its Aftermath

In February at concerts in Fayetteville and Raleigh, we featured music written during or about the Civil War including When Johnny Comes Marching Home, The Wound-Dresser, Copland’s Lincoln Portrait and Ives’ Symphony No. 2.

Though not written during the Civil War, William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 1, "Afro-American," has a significant place in American music. Still was born in Woodville, Mississippi, in 1895 and was the descendant of Afro-American slaves. He was the first Afro-American composer to write a symphony and one of the first to conduct a symphony orchestra. Still’s first symphony was influenced by spirituals, early jazz and European symphonic techniques. The 3rd movement of this symphony is lively and joyous and is his most popular work.

Join me as I delve deeper into the impact of the Emancipation Proclamation in a free talk “The Emancipation Proclamation, its aftermath, and the first African American composers.” The free talk will be held on Wednesday, March 6 at 11am and North Carolina Central University’s Farrison-Newton Communications Building Auditorium. More information here.

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