William Grant Still: A Bio-Bibliography

William Grant Still: A Bio-Bibliography

William Grant Still: A Bio-Bibliography

William Grant Still: A Bio-Bibliography


Presenting the life and professional career of "The Dean of Afro-American Composers," this is the first comprehensive book on the writings by and about Still, the compositions with manuscript sources, the performances of Still's works, and the reviews of those performances. It includes a touching personal reminiscence by his daughter Judith Anne. The full resources of the extensive collection known as The William Grant Still and Verna Arvey Papers at the University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville, give this book the distinction of being the first one about Still that utilizes diaries, letters, scrapbooks, and family papers to provide information on his works and performances.


Judith Anne Still

"The Coercive Smile of a Winking Saint"

The following passages are from the theme book, diaries, and sketchbooks of William Grant Still.

Theme book, 1924: Humbly have I sought the aid of my Father in composing. . . . This is the result. May it glorify Him in the highest.

Ode to the American Negro.

Despised--Rejected. He struggles. His struggles are futile, for he relies on his own strength that is naught but weakness. He falls back into the pit of misery, and sinks to deeper depths. A ray of hope penetrates the stygian gloom. From Celestial heights it comes bearing a message of comfort from the throne of God: a reminder that Divine aid is ever given one who will accept. The Negro hears. . . . (Having risen) he triumphantly voices the truth . . . (as a man thinks, so is he.)

July 10, 1930 (Thurs): Cloudy today. Yet one feels no depression because of it. God seems so near. Grace [Grace Bundy was Still's first wife.] in ill humor. Unpleasant scene at home. Thanks to God, I did not lose my temper.

July 11, 1930 (Fri): Thank God for another day. Still scoring Sahdji. Nine pages today. Tired now. Picture show to rest my brain. . . . I often feel discouraged over the way things are mis-managed in my home. Feel that way today and wish that I might be able to go away. But, would that be what God would have me do?

July 12, 1930 (Sat): Beautiful day. Semi-finals of tennis tournament. Slept well last night. Dreamed that I was walking through mud that clung to my feet but soon came to clear water. Feel that God is telling me not to lose courage.

September 4, 1930 (Thurs): God bestowed honor on me today. Received catalog of the works of the leading American composers. In spite of my color, my works and name were included.

October 9, 1930 (Thurs): My orchestration of Deep River acclaimed unusually good by so very many. Thanks to God to whom the credit is due.

October 10, 1930 (Fri): Purchased radio today, in spite of very large obligations ahead. I do not know how, but I am assured that my Father will open the way for me.

October 24, 1930 (Fri): God sent me success today. Africa was a sensation.

October 27, 1930 (Mon): Today I discovered that Grace has again drawn my money from the bank without telling me of it. . . . I wrote a check for $39.00 . . . and discov-

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