Opening reception for “William Grant Still: Inspired to Inspiring” traveling exhibit hits high note at library

Dr. Micheal Brown

Dr. Micheal Brown

A presentation by Dr. Michael Brown titled “William Grant Still: Mississippi International” officially marked the opening of the traveling exhibit “William Grant Still: Inspired to Inspiring” at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library. Dr. Brown, Chair of the Music Department at Mississippi State University, spoke about Still’s life and influence on the world of music.

Dr. Brown told the audience, “William Grant Still’s impact on twentieth century musicians was monumental.  He took the classical and combined it with the blues. For example, he used the banjo in the 3rd movement of his Symphony No. 1, something rarely seen in symphonies to help solidify the fusion of the two styles.”

Consisting of eight free-standing fabric panels, the exhibit celebrates the life and work of Woodville native, William Grant Still. Venerated as the “Dean of American Negro Composers,” Still had written more than 150 compositions before his death in 1978. Famed conductor, Leopold Stokowski called him “one of our greatest American composers” and the LA Times recognized him as “our great resident composer” in 1956.

Students from MSMS reading through William Grant Still exhibit

Students from MSMS reading through William Grant Still exhibit

“William Grant Still: Inspired to Inspiring” will be at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library from November 17 to December 17 and is free to the public. Library hours are as follows: Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The exhibit will travel the state, with 13 stops scheduled through November 2009. The exhibit’s itinerary will conclude in Natchez, Nov. 18 at a conference hosted by Still’s daughter, Judith Anne.

The exhibit is sponsored through a collaborative partnership between the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC), the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH), the Mississippi Humanities Council (MHC) and the Mississippi Library Commission (MLC).

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Published in: on November 20, 2008 at 3:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

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