Music for the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Death
Preparing to commemorate in 2018 the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death and also to celebrate Black History Month in February, I have asked Marvin Mills for a short list of recommendations for organ and choral music for use not only in February but also throughout the year. Marvin generously shares the following list of musical resources, all published within the last two decades. --John Walker
Recommendations for Black History Month,and beyond! by Marvin Mills
Organ–Most of these works are easy-moderate in difficulty, with a few requiring a bit more attention. There is a range of styles, from Victorian era through late 20th century.
- Adolphus Hailstork, Adagio and Fugue in f minor, Morning Star(1999) Two page prelude and three page fugue useful as prelude/offertory and postlude respectively. The fugue subject is the opening motive of the prelude .A good piece for Lent.
- The Organ Music of Phillip Barnette McIntrye, Wayne Leupold Editions,(2013). Most pieces (or movements) are short, one-three pages, suitable for prelude, offertory or postlude. Hymn settings call for two manuals; other pieces three manuals.
- Credo Suite–Conception and Birth, Trial and Death, Resurrection (Trumpetings)
- Good Christian Men, Rejoice
- Nine Hymns for Organ – Truro, Herzliebster Jesu, Woodworth, Were You There, Morecambe, Maryton, Walk with Me, Cranham, Rockingham
- PassionSuite – Sorrows, Tears, Release
- Heaven Bound: Suite for Cello and Organ
- King of Kings, GIA Publications, 2008,James Abbington,ed., Organ Music of Black Composers, Past and Present in two volumes
- Vol.I–Thirteen works by Ralph Simpson, John W. Work III,D.L.White, Uzee Brown, Jr.(3),
- Florence Price, H. Leslie Adams, Calvin Taylor, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor(3),
- Uzee Brown's Lord, Build Me a Cabin in Glory Land (setting of a Bluegrass folk song)
- Coleridge-Taylor's three pieces, Arietta, Melody and Elegy (Victorian era melody/harmony)
- Calvin Taylor's setting of the spiritual Talk About a Child That Do Love Jesus is my favorite in this collection. The outer sections present the plaintive melody in a direct manner bookending a fughetta. It has the feel of Franck, aided by the key of c-sharp minor no doubt.
- Vol.II – Twelve works by Calvin Fuller, George Walker, Florence Price(3), William Farley Smith(2), Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Marques L.A.Garrett, Fela Sowande(3)
Choral African American Heritage Hymnal, GIA publications,2001
A hymnal for Protestant African American Churches that has endeavored to preserve the rich oral tradition of African American sacred song in print form.
With 104 readings, 582 hymns, Spirituals and songs, 11 indices, and two informative essays, there is no more comprehensive resource on African American Church Music. Cost $16; keyboard$60 Useful for introits, hymns, songs, responses, altar calls, etc., by choir (children/youth/adult), congregation, or solo voice. Spanning gospel greats Thomas Dorsey to Richard Smallwood, traditional South African songs to Spirituals, and hymn tunes of Martin Luther to David Hurd,I have continually found gems of the Black worship experience over the past 16 years. A bargain!!