Classical 91.5

Black History Month

Alexander Lloyd Blake

American conductor Alexander Lloyd Blake has launched an effort to encourage musicians to sign a pledge of anti-racisim in choral practice.

Blake is the Founding Artistic Director of Tonality, Director of Classical Choirs at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, and Principal Associate Conductor at the National Children's Chorus.  He also offers consulting work for organizations wanting to increase equity and diversity in the arts.

On June 19, 1865 Union soldiers, lead by Major General Gordon Granger announced the news that the war had ended and that all enslaved persons in the United States were now free.  Juneteenth (June 19th) is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the end of slavery in the U.S.  We recognize this world-wide celebration with the rebroadcast of In Concert with the Morehouse College Glee Club, a concert that includes a performance of The Seven Last Words of the Unarmed by Joel Thompson, a setting of the last words of unarmed black men who were killed by police violence.  (Fri 6/19, 3:00pm)

With Heart and Voice ® Program 2006

Suggested Broadcast: Sunday, February 16, 2020

As we mark Black History Month on With Heart and Voice, we’ll explore various treatments of African-American Spirituals over the past century, in choral, and even organ music. Join Peter DuBois to delve into the deeper meanings and motivations of this uniquely American repertoire.


Each February, Classical 91.5 recognizes Black History Month by recognizing the musical contributions of people of African descent.  We do this on air by presenting music by black composers, conductors and performers.  This year we are also launching our newest web pages, Classical Musicians of African Descent, developed in cooperation with the Gateways Music Festival at the Eastman School of Music

With Heart and Voice ® Program 1907

Suggested Broadcast: Sunday, February 24, 2019

As Black History Month comes to a close, we’ll survey the distinctly American repertoire of African-American Spirituals, and what they have meant in the past, and what they mean today.  Join Peter DuBois for this interesting exploration.

Frederick Douglass – orator, abolitionist, author, social reformer…violinist?

We don’t normally hear about that part of this legendary historical figure’s life, but there’s a great story about him getting into violin after his time in Ireland, which you can hear in this feature, which is mainly about his grandson, Joseph Douglass, who was a noted concert violinists, whose performed at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago.

“My dear Dr. Koussevitzky, To begin with I have two handicaps—those of sex and race. I am a woman; and I have some Negro blood in my veins.”  - Florence Price

In this New Yorker article, Alex Ross tells the story of a 2009 house renovation which led to the discovery of lost music by a ground-breaking American composer. 

Performance Today Spotlights Black Musical History

Celebrate Black History Month with music, as Performance Today presents a new Black History Spotlight Series. You can hear the episodes throughout February on Classical 91.5 or online where you can see photos and learn more about each artist. Each of the 20 new episodes will feature a three-minute spot highlighting a black musician or composer, with additional content (including photos, videos and audio links) on the PT website and Facebook page.

Spotlights include:

Florence Price    
Joseph Douglass (Grandson of Frederick Douglass)
George Bridgetower
Harry Thacker Burleigh
Hazel Scott
Joseph Bologne-Chevalier de Saint-Georges
Philippa Schyler
R. Nathaniel Dett
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Scott Joplin
William Grant Still
Will Marion Cook
Nora Holt
Eva Jessye
Ignatius Sancho
Francis Johnson
Thomas Wiggins
Zenobia Powell Perry
Harry Lawrence Freeman
John Blanke

With Heart and Voice: Black History Month

Jan 30, 2017

With Heart and Voice ® Program 1706

Suggested Broadcast: Sunday, February 5, 2017

Since 1976, February has been celebrated in the United States as Black History Month. On the next With Heart and Voice, Peter DuBois will explore music of African-American composers of choral and organ music, as well as the riches of the Spiritual tradition.