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William Grant Still Research Guide  

Last Updated: Dec 6, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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William Grant Still


Songs of Separation: Events

A Concert of Music for Voice
Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009, 7:30 pm
Alfred Newman Recital Hall
Admission is free.

USC Thornton School of Music students perform a program of Still's vocal music. Following the performance, music historian Lance Bowling, vocalist Peter Lightfoot, and LA as Subject managing director Susan Anderson will hold a panel discussion.

A Look at the Composer's Life
Friday, Feb. 6, 2009, 1:00 pm
Doheny Library
Intellectual Commons, Room 233
Admission is free.

Judith Anne Still, the composer's daughter, will give a presentation of William Grant Still's life and career, including his birth in Mississippi to the descendents of slaves, his contributions to the blues and early radio, and his groundbreaking work as a conductor and composer. A reception follows the presentation.


Research Guide for Songs of Separation: William Grant Still and the Dilemmas of American Classical Music

This research guide is designed to support the February 5-6, 2009 Visions and Voices events, Songs of Separation: William Grant Still and the Dilemmas of American Classical Music.

William Grant Still (1895-1978) was one of America's foremost classical music composers. His oevre includes the Afro-American Symphony; Songs of Separation (an art-song cycle); and operas such as Troubled Island and Bayou Legend. A resident of Los Angeles from 1934 until 1978, he also composed scores for film and TV shows (including Perry Mason and Gunsmoke).

Still's artistic vision and life experiences during the era of segregation raise challenging questions about the classical-music canon, race, and California and American history.

An Introduction to William Grant Still

For biographical information and a taste of William Grant Still's music, click on the links below. Please note: These links are available to USC students, faculty, and staff only; for free Website links, please go to the Websites tab in this guide.


Research Help

This guide was developed by Librarian Sue Tyson (, with help from Stephanie Bonjack, Music Librarian and Music Library Head (, and Music Library Manager Robert Vaughn (

If you have questions or need help with your research, please feel free to contact Stephanie Bonjack.


Selected USC Holdings

Click the link below to find a downloadable list of selected holdings on William Grant Still available at USC.

Holdings include scores; books authored by William Grant Still and others; sound recordings; in-process materials; and more.

* Asterisk in guide title indicates core subject guide

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