New Children’s Book Tells the Story of Florence Price

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2021-12-03 15:53Z by Steven

New Children’s Book Tells the Story of Florence Price

Wise Music Classical
2021-10-08

A classroom exploration and discovery led students to create an illustrated biography of a composer whose music is being widely celebrated around the world today. Their book Who is Florence Price? will be published by Schirmer Trade Books, part of Wise Music Group, on November 18th 2021.

Florence Price became the first Black woman to have her music played by a major American orchestra when the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed her Symphony No. 1 in 1933. The new children’s book Who Is Florence Price? tells the story of a brilliant musician who prevailed against race and gender prejudices to achieve this important milestone. The book was written and illustrated by 45 middle school students at Kaufman Music Center’s Special Music School, New York City’s only K-12 public school that teaches music as a core subject. The project began when English teacher Shannon Potts realized that there were no materials about Price’s life at the lower school reading level. The students studied Price’s biography and mapped out her life story on a wall, discussing which elements were most important to the narrative for their intended audience: children at approximately the third-grade reading level. After collaboratively writing and revising the text, the students created the illustrations, beginning with backgrounds of cut paper. The book was originally self-published as a classroom project shortly before the [COVID-19] pandemic shut down NYC in the spring of 2020 and has been revised for the 2021 release…

Read the entire article here.

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Revisiting The Pioneering Composer Florence Price

Posted in Articles, Arts, Audio, Biography, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2020-06-18 00:10Z by Steven

Revisiting The Pioneering Composer Florence Price

All Things Considered
National Public Radio
2019-01-21

Tom Huizenga, Music Producer


Florence Price was the first African-American woman to have her music performed by a major symphony orchestra.
Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries

In 1933, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra gave the world premiere of Symphony No. 1 by a then little-known composer named Florence Price. The performance marked the first time a major orchestra played music by an African-American woman.

Price’s First Symphony, along with her Fourth, has just been released on an album featuring the Fort Smith Symphony, conducted by John Jeter.

Fans of Price, especially in the African-American community, may argue that her music has never really been forgotten. But some of it has been lost. Not long ago, a couple bought a fixer-upper, south of Chicago, and discovered nearly 30 boxes of manuscripts and papers. Among the discoveries in what turned out to be Price’s abandoned summer home was her Fourth Symphony, composed in 1945. This world-premiere recording is another new piece of the puzzle to understanding the life and music of Price, and a particular time in America’s cultural history.

Read the story here. Listen to the story (00:04:00) here.

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