The Music of Langston Hughes

Rollo Dilworth is an esteemed choral conductor, composer and educator.

Rollo Dilworth

American choral composer, arranger, conductor, and music educator Rollo Dilworth is widely recognized for his contemporary interpretations of African American spirituals. Dilworth derives inspiration for his compositions and arrangements from various influences, particularly African-American literature and a deep love for poetry. This passion has led him to create breathtaking musical arrangements of Langston Hughes’ poetic texts. With his evocative and soulful renditions, Dilworth’s contribution to “The Music of Langston Hughes” is truly exceptional.

Rollo Dilworth Choral Music

In Time of Silver Rain – SATB divisi

In Time of Silver Rain celebrates the new vitality that spring provides. This captivating piece features a call and response between upper and lower voices, a baritone soloist and the dancing sounds of fresh falling rain that grows new life in spring.

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Give Us Our Peace – SATB

Give Us Our Peace wields the powerful words of Langston Hughes that speak out against division, racism, poverty and greed to create this inspiring musical work. Beginning with the African-American Spiritual “I’ve Been in the Storm So Long” to form historical context, the piece then transitions to “Dona Nobis Pacem,” a call to “grant us peace,” and culminates with a bluesy/gospel theme to create a very creative and moving piece.

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America The Dream – SATB

The first line of “America (My Country, ‘Tis of Thee)” is quoted in the opening of America, the Dream, reminding the listener of one of America’s most essential ideals: freedom.  This stirring composition, which honors singing for racial and social justice, is set to the 11th stanza of the poem “Freedom’s Plow” by Langston Hughes.

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About Rollo Dilworth

Rollo Dilworth

Rollo Dilworth

Rollo Dilworth, an American choral composer, arranger, conductor, and music educator, is best known for his contemporary choral arrangements of African American spirituals.

Rollo Dilworth’s inspiration for his compositions and arrangements comes from varying influences. His works are heavily influenced by composers of gospel and spirituals, and his musical approach borrows from classical and African-American folk music. Dilworth is also known to have a fondness for African-American literature and a love of poetry, which has inspired him to compose stunning arrangements to the poetic text of Langston Hughes.

Rollo Dilworth’s passion for choral music emerged early in his childhood. Participating in school and church choirs in his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, Dilworth was inspired at the age of 11 to experiment with the pitches and rhythms of the music presented to him. Encouraging this gift of inquisitiveness, his elementary school teacher supported him in sharing his ideas and enlisted young Rollo to serve as a piano accompanist.

At Temple University’s Esther Boyer College of Music and Dance in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Rollo Dilworth is an associate professor of choral music education and the chair of the music education department. In addition to conducting the University Chorale, he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in choral music education. Over 150 of Dilworth’s choral compositions and arrangements have been made available for purchase, many of which are a part of the Henry Leck Creating Artistry Choral Series with Hal Leonard Corporation.  Dilworth has written three books of choral warm-up exercises for elementary and secondary choral ensembles, contributed to the textbook series Experiencing Choral Music and Essential Elements for Choir, is a regular presenter at local, state, regional, and national conferences, and has conducted 43 all-state choirs at various levels and has conducted 6 regional honor choirs and 4 national honor choirs.

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A captivating collection of art songs and arrangements that beautifully bring to life the profound verses penned by legendary poet Langston Hughes.

Dr. André J. Thomas

Andre J. Thomas

Passion for Langston Hughes’ words shines through in every note and lyric, making for an enchanting musical experience that resonates with the soul.

Find the perfect choral sheet music set to Langston Hughes’ inspirational poetic text.