LHI: Jon Boyd On William Grant Still

Oct 15, 2014

WMUK contributor Jon Boyd talks about the life and music of American composer William Grant Still, whose Symphony No. 1 "Afro-American" he ranks as one of his favorite pieces of all time. 

William Grant Still

William Grant Still's musical experience ranged from advanced degrees at the Oberlin Conservatory to working as an arranger for W.C. Handy. His pride in his heritage as an African-American showed in the many works he composed which blended blues, jazz, and folk melodies into classical forms. 

Jon Boyd then picks up his viola to demonstrate W.G. Still's sensitive arrangements of spirituals in Here's One, accompanied by pianist J.J. Treadway.