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Recordings

Dances and Rhapsodies: Music for Wind Quintet by Fred Onovwerosuoke

(African Music Publishers AGCD2608)
IMI Chamber Players

Debut CD by the IMI Chamber Players wind quintet featuring music by African American composer Fred Onovwerosuoke. Works on CD include: Four Dances for Wind Quintet, Four More Dances for Wind Quintet, Rhapsody #2 and Rhapsody #3. For woodwind quintet ensembles looking to diversify their repertoire with BIPOC composers, these works present a rich variety of unique African musical styles and pleasing to all audiences. NOW AVAILABLE at a music store near you, on online at Amazon

African Art Music for Flute

(African Music Publishers AGCD2081)    
Wendy Hymes, flute and Darryl Hollister, piano

Hymes’ debut solo cd includes works by Bongani Ndodana-Breen, J.H. Kwabena Nketia, Fred Onovwerosuoke, Justin Tamusuza, and Joshua Uzoigwe. This music offers us a glimpse of the spirit and traditional musics of Africa. The composers’ diverse training backgrounds have led each to connect with different African and Western musics, but each has succeeded in finding their own unique voice and how to connect with diverse audiences on multiple continents. Though written for western instruments using western notation, as in contemporary compositions that employ extended techniques, the performer must familiarize himself/herself with new elements, such as a barrage of polyrhythm, new melodic and harmonic sensibilities as well as the foreign cultural traditions that influenced the composer which are integral to the piece. The listener will benefit from reading the background information about the pieces on this CD, including notes from the composers.

Spiritual Fantasy 

(Albany Records)
with Lucius Weathersby, organist

​Lucius R. Weathersby was born in Houston and raised in Louisiana. He was an assistant professor of music and chairperson of the music department at Dillard University in New Orleans where he taught piano and lectured in music theory. He was the founder and co-director of the Dillard University String Ensemble. For more than five years, he was employed as full-time director of music in two churches where he founded and managed the First Congressional Concert Series in Waterloo, Iowa and the Second Sunday Concert Series at the Church of the Beatitudes in Phoenix, Arizona. Works on this recording include Fanfare & Toccata by Wallace Cheatham; Yoruba Lament by Fela Sowande; Joie  and Prelude & Fugato by Violet George Bowers; Summerland from Three Visions by William Grant Still, composer (arr. Weathersby) with Wendy Hymes, flute; Organ Suite by Kevin George, Improvisation on the Helston Floral Dance, Traditional (arr. Weathersby); Were You There? Traditional (arr. Uzee Brown Jr.); and The Martyrs of Torrington by Lucius Weathersby, composer

Videos

Books

Three Pieces for Solo Flute

(African Music Publishers)    
Wendy Hymes and Fred Onovwerosuoke

A collection of three works for solo flute by African descent composers featuring Ilulu by Joshua Uzoigwe (Nigeria), Visions by Bongani Ndodana-Breen (South Africa), and Six Variations on a Pende Folk Tune by Fred Onovwerosuoke (US). Compiled and edited by Wendy Hymes and Fred Onovwerosuoke

Interested in more music by African composers? Visit African Music Publishers’ website at http://ampublishers.org/

African Art Music for Flute: A Study of Selected Works by African Composers

Click this online link to read Wendy Hymes’ dissertation from LSU (2008).

Abstract: Recent years have witnessed an increase in the number of Western classical music performers actively programming works employing multi-cultural musical idioms. Though there exist many compositions by African composers, African art music is not often programmed by Western performers because of the lack of exposure these compositions have received, lack of commercially-available recordings, and the difficulties of obtaining information about African musical styles. The information presented in this research aims to aid performers in their preparation and approach to performing African art music compositions, specifically those for the western flute. This research includes biographical information and compositional philosophies of five African composers: Bongani Ndodana, J.H. Kwabena Nketia, Fred Onovwerosuoke, Justinian Tamusuza and Joshua Uzoigwe. The specific pieces studied are Ndodana’s Visions for solo flute, Nketia’s Republic Suite, Onovwerosuoke’s Three Pieces for flute and piano, Tamusuza’s Okwanjula Kw’Endere, and Uzoigwe’s Oja Flute Suite. Aspects of style including the influences of traditional African musics and performance suggestions are discussed for all selected pieces. This research also includes the following additional flute-related resources for obtaining information about African composers: names of institutions specializing in African music; discographies; lists of suggested recordings of non-Western flutes, African Pianism, and African orchestral and choral music; and a list of compositions for flute by African composers.

Wendy’s artistic curiosity indeed helped introduce the world of classical music to [African-descent] composers for flute. We owe her endless gratitude…


J. H. Kwabena Nketia (1921-2019), composer
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