Music for February 27

To close out Black History Month and our exploration of African-American composers for organ, Sunday’s prelude will be a Solemn Processional by Robert A. Harris (b. 1938). Written for a marriage ceremony in 1985, the piece is Harris’ first work for solo organ. Harris studied at Michigan State University and the Eastman School of Music, among others, and is a sought-after conductor, choral clinician, and adjudicator across the United States and abroad. He has served on the music faculties at Wayne State University and Michigan State, as well as Northwestern University, and is known mainly for his choral works and commitment to the advancement of the art of singing.\

Below is a video of Robert A. Harris talking about his Master’s thesis on 1920s African American classically trained musicians and hearing Paul Robeson sing in Detroit, Michigan.