GCCO & Mastersingers

GCCO & Fort Myers Symphonic Mastersingers

A moving concert featuring Joel Thompson’s Seven Last Words of the Unarmed, plus William Grant Still’s orchestral tone poem Darker America of sorrow, hope and loss, and Joan Tower’s Made In America.

Program:

Joan Tower – Made in America

Robert Nathaniel Dett – Chariot Jubilee for Chorus & Orchestra

William Grant Still – Darker America

Joel Thompson – Seven Last Words Of The Unarmed

About the Composer

William Grant Still

William Grant Still, (born May 11, 1895, Woodville, Mississippi, U.S.—died December 3, 1978, Los Angeles, California), American composer and conductor and the first African American to conduct a professional symphony orchestra in the United States. Though a prolific composer of operas, ballets, symphonies, and other works, he was best known for his Afro-American Symphony (1931).

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Joel Thompson

Emmy award-winning composer, Joel Thompson is a composer, pianist, conductor, and educator from Atlanta. His largest work, Seven Last Words of the Unarmed for TTBB chorus, strings and piano, was premiered in November 2015 by the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club under the direction of Dr. Eugene Rogers. Recently, Thompson was a composition fellow at the Aspen Music Festival and School where he worked with composers Stephen Hartke and Christopher Theofanidis. Thompson taught at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School in Atlanta 2015-2017, and also served as Director of Choral Studies and Assistant Professor of Music at Andrew College 2013-2015.

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Joan Tower

Joan Tower (born September 6, 1938) is a Grammy-winning contemporary American composer, concert pianist and conductor. Lauded by The New Yorker as “one of the most successful woman composers of all time”, her bold and energetic compositions have been performed in concert halls around the world. After gaining recognition for her first orchestral composition, Sequoia (1981), a tone poem which structurally depicts a giant tree from trunk to needles, she has gone on to compose a variety of instrumental works including Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman, which is something of a response to Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, the Island Prelude, five string quartets, and an assortment of other tone poems.

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Robert Nathaniel Dett

Robert Nathaniel Dett (October 11, 1882 – October 2, 1943), often known as R. Nathaniel Dett and Nathaniel Dett, was a Canadian-American Black composer, organist, pianist, choral director, and music professor. Born and raised in Canada until the age of 11, he moved to the United States with his family and had most of his professional education and career there. During his lifetime he was a leading Black composer, known for his use of African-American folk songs and spirituals as the basis for choral and piano compositions in the 19th century Romantic style of Classical music.

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Guest Artists

Dr. Andrew M. Kurtz

Conductor

Dr. Andrew M. Kurtz

Fort Myers Symphonic Mastersingers

Fort Myers Symphonic Mastersingers

Davron Monroe

Davron Monroe

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