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A Hall for All

A Century of Black Classical

Musicians at the Town Hall

Initially founded by suffragists to be an open forum for political discussion and discourse, the Town Hall once reigned as New York's premiere music venue to make a formal debut.  My book, "A Hall for All: A Century of Black Classical Musicians at the Town Hall," will survey the hundreds of African-American classical artists that have appeared at this venue.  In an era when most venues were not welcoming to Black musicians or audiences, the careers of almost every trailblazing, influential, and popular Black classical musician of the twentieth century was launched and sustained from the Town Hall stage.  My book will trace how these artists rose to the forefront of classical music, and show how this venue was a launching pad for their careers, and became their musical home.  This book will also discuss topics unique to the Black experience in classical music, including: racial uplift and the links between classical music and the civil rights movement; critical reception in "Black" vs. "mainstream" media, and; discerning a "Black aesthetic" in a perceivably European genre.  With this book, I hope to preserve the legacies of these incredible artists, while celebrating the unique role this venue has had in their lives.

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