The short-form choral works of Florence B. Price: compelling music for a range of choirs
The purpose of this study was to promote the short-form choral works of Florence B. Price (1887-1953) as compelling music for study and performance by high school choirs, collegiate choirs, and community choirs with intermediate and advanced ability levels. The presentation and supporting document organized the music on a spectrum of difficulty, primarily according to harmonic and textural complexity. The choral music of Florence Price—an African- American female composer—spans several genres and categories, including secular partsongs, spiritual arrangements, liturgical service music, sacred music, unaccompanied music, music with piano accompaniment, music with organ accompaniment, music for treble voices, music for mixed voices, music for tenor-bass voices, music with poetic texts, and non-idiomatic choral music by a black composer. Florence B. Price was a student of George Whitefield Chadwick during her studies at the New England Conservatory of Music, and her involvement in the National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM) connected her to other black composers such as William Grant Still, R. Nathaniel Dett, and William Dawson. The lecture recital featured performances by four choral ensembles. As a part of the study, a comprehensive list of Florence Price’s choral music has been compiled as an appendix. Another appendix presents a table that charts the difficulty of the fifteen compositions and arrangements featured in this lecture recital.