The Music of Langston Hughes

I Dream a World – SATB -Rosephanye-Powell

$3.45

Product Description

I Dream a World 

Gentry Publications 

Commissioned by Eddie Jones and the University of Arkansas Concert Choir, this work by Rosephanye Powell features the words of Langston Hughes that inspired Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This is an anthem for all those who believe in human rights, in peace and hope for a better tomorrow. Powerful!

Langston Hughes’ “I Dream a World” and Its Correlation with Martin Luther King’s Ideas and the Concept of Human Rights

Langston Hughes, a towering figure of the Harlem Renaissance, left an indelible mark on American literature through his compelling poems that spoke to the experiences, aspirations, and struggles of African Americans in the early 20th century. Among his works, “I Dream a World” stands as a profound expression of hope and the yearning for equality. This essay delves into the correspondence between Hughes’ poem and Martin Luther King Jr.’s ideas, highlighting their shared commitment to human rights. To fully grasp Hughes’ perspective, we will commence with a detailed biography that underscores his challenges in education, his upbringing in Kansas, and his significant contributions to the Harlem Renaissance. Additionally, we will draw parallels between Langston Hughes and Martin Luther King Jr., showcasing the interconnectedness of their messages and visions for a more just world.

Biography of Langston Hughes

James Mercer Langston Hughes was born on February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Missouri. He spent his formative years in Lawrence, Kansas, marked by financial hardships and a sense of dislocation. Hughes’ early life was deeply impacted by the racial discrimination and segregation prevalent in America during that era. His parents’ separation when he was young further heightened his awareness of racial disparities.

Education posed another significant challenge for Hughes. Despite his evident academic prowess, he faced obstacles in pursuing higher education due to financial constraints. Although he attended Columbia University for a brief period, he was forced to leave due to financial difficulties. This setback did not deter him from his passion for writing and his determination to give voice to the African American experience in his works.

Harlem Renaissance and Hughes’ Contribution

In the early 1920s, Langston Hughes relocated to New York City, becoming an integral part of the Harlem Renaissance, a cultural and artistic movement that celebrated African American creativity and intellectualism. Hughes’ move to Harlem exposed him to a vibrant cultural scene, where he engaged with other luminaries of the time, such as Zora Neale Hurston and Claude McKay. It was during this period that Hughes gained recognition as a poet and writer, contributing immensely to the burgeoning African American literary scene.

Hughes’ poetry during the Harlem Renaissance addressed issues of racial identity, discrimination, and the African American experience in America. Through his poignant verses, he used his art to shed light on the injustices faced by African Americans and to advocate for social change. His work celebrated the beauty of African American culture and heritage while challenging the prevailing stereotypes.

“I Dream a World” and Martin Luther King’s Ideas

Langston Hughes’ poem “I Dream a World” beautifully encapsulates the same spirit of hope, unity, and equality that Martin Luther King Jr. articulated during the Civil Rights Movement. In this poem, Hughes paints a vivid picture of a world where discrimination and prejudice are replaced by harmony and acceptance. He writes:

“I dream a world where all
Will know sweet freedom’s way,
Where greed no longer saps the soul
Nor avarice blights our day.”

These lines resonate deeply with King’s dream of a future where individuals are judged based on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. Both Hughes and King shared the belief that a more just and equal society was not just desirable but imperative for the progress of humanity.

The concept of human rights, as fervently advocated by Martin Luther King, also finds resonance in Hughes’ poem. Hughes’ call for an end to greed and avarice, forces that undermine human dignity and rights, aligns with King’s tireless efforts to secure these rights for all individuals, regardless of their race or background. King’s work sought to eliminate the systemic injustices that denied marginalized communities their fundamental human rights, such as the right to vote, equal education, and equal protection under the law.

Parallels between Langston Hughes and Martin Luther King Jr.

The parallels between Langston Hughes and Martin Luther King Jr. extend beyond their shared vision of a more equitable world. Both men faced adversity in their lives, with Hughes encountering financial hardship and King enduring threats to his life due to his activism. Hughes’ poetry and King’s speeches were powerful tools for inspiring social change. Hughes’ poems, like “Let America Be America Again” and “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” and King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, invoked a sense of shared purpose and justice that galvanized movements for civil rights and equality.

Langston Hughes’ poem “I Dream a World” serves as a testament to his unwavering commitment to social justice and equality. His upbringing in Kansas, experiences with discrimination, and pivotal role in the Harlem Renaissance deeply influenced his poetry and advocacy for civil rights. The poem’s vision of a world free from prejudice and oppression corresponds with Martin Luther King Jr.’s ideals and the broader concept of human rights. Together, their work and words continue to inspire individuals and movements striving for a more just and equitable society. Hughes’ poetry remains a poignant reminder of the enduring struggle for equality and the dream of a better world, a dream shared by both Langston Hughes and Martin Luther King Jr.

Some Quick Facts About Rosephanye Powell

– Rosephanye Powell is celebrated as one of the preeminent women composers in the United States, with a remarkable body of solo vocal and choral compositions.

– Her extensive repertoire has been published by renowned music publishers, including the Hal Leonard Corporation, the Fred Bock Publishing Group, Gentry Publications, Oxford University Press, Alliance Music Publications, and Shawnee Press.

– Dr. Powell’s compositions have received acclaim and have been conducted and premiered by distinguished national and international conductors. These premieres have taken place at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center, and Spivey Hall, among others.

– Her work has been commissioned by esteemed professional choral ensembles, including Cantus and the Grammy award-winning men’s vocal ensemble Chanticleer.

– Dr. Powell is a sought-after composer, receiving annual commissions to create compositions for a wide range of choirs, including university choruses, professional ensembles, community and church choirs, and secondary school choruses.

– Her compositions are highly regarded and are frequently featured at choral festivals across the United States. They are notably present at both regional and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and Honor Choir festivals.

– Rosephanye Powell’s diverse compositions encompass both sacred and secular works, spanning various vocal ensembles, including mixed chorus, women’s chorus, men’s chorus, and children’s voices.

– Some recent highlights of her commissioned and premiered works include “Quiet Revolutionary,” commissioned by Harvard University choirs; “Love Will Make A Way,” premiered at Lincoln Center by the Metropolitan Youth Chorale of New York; and “Gospel Trinity,” a four-movement work premiered at Lincoln Center, commissioned by the Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts.

– Dr. Powell currently serves as a Professor of Voice at Auburn University, bringing her expertise to the academic realm. She holds degrees from The Florida State University (D.M. in vocal performance), Westminster Choir College (M.M. in vocal performance and pedagogy), and Alabama State University (B.M.E., summa cum laude).

– Her career in academia includes faculty positions at Philander Smith College (AR) and Georgia Southern University before joining Auburn University in 2001.

– In addition to her role as a composer and professor, Dr. Powell conducts extensive research on the African-American spiritual and voice care, with a particular focus on voice care concerns for voice professionals, music educators, choral directors, and choral singers.

– She is a highly sought-after presenter and clinician, frequently traveling both nationally and internationally to deliver lectures, conduct workshops, and serve as an adjudicator for solo vocal competitions, honor choirs, choral workshops, and festivals.

– Dr. Powell has received several prestigious awards, including the “Luise Vosgerchian Teaching Award” from Harvard University in 2022. She was also honored with the “Living Legend Award” by the California State University African Diaspora Sacred Music Festival in Los Angeles and the Marquis Who’s Who “Lifetime Achievement Award.”

– Her accomplishments have earned her a place in international publications like Who Is Who in Choral Music, as well as inclusion in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and Outstanding Young Women in America.

– She is an active member of professional organizations such as the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), Chorus America, the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), and the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO).

Let’s Dive Deeper Into Rosephanye Powell

Rosephanye Powell composes Langston Hughes’ poem into music and accompanied by piano. Its magisterial melody, harmonies and lyrics will inspire everyone to strive to achieve their dreams. This is a great piece for any medium level collegiate and high school choirs.

Rosephanye Powell is celebrated as one of the foremost female composers in the United States, particularly known for her exceptional contributions to solo vocal and choral music. Her impressive body of work has been published by several prestigious publishing houses across the nation, including the Hal Leonard Corporation, the Fred Bock Music Companies, Gentry Publications, Oxford University Press, Alliance Music Publications, and Shawnee Press.

 Dr. Powell’s compositions have garnered recognition through performances conducted by nationally and internationally acclaimed conductors, premiering at renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center, and Spivey Hall, among others. Some of her notable commissions have come from professional choral ensembles, including Cantus and the Grammy award-winning men’s vocal ensemble Chanticleer.

Each year, Dr. Powell is commissioned to create compositions for a diverse range of vocal ensembles, including university choruses, professional, community, and church choirs, as well as secondary school choruses. Her works are highly sought after at choral festivals throughout the country, frequently gracing the programs of regional and national conventions hosted by the American Choral Directors Association and Honor Choir festivals. Dr. Powell’s compositional repertoire encompasses both sacred and secular pieces tailored for mixed chorus, women’s chorus, men’s chorus, and children’s voices.

Recent highlights in her career include the composition and premiere of “Quiet Revolutionary,” a three-movement piece for SATB chorus and piano commissioned by Harvard University choirs; the premiere of “Love Will Make A Way” (SATB) by the Metropolitan Youth Chorale of New York at Lincoln Center; the debut and conducting of “Get Busy” (SATB) by the composer herself at Carnegie Hall; “A Christmas Medley” (SATB), commissioned by Chanticleer; “I Want to Die While You Love Me” (SSAA), created for the ACDA Women’s Choirs Commission Consortium; “Gospel Trinity” (SATB), a four-movement composition for narrator, chorus, piano, and orchestra, commissioned by the Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts/Fuller Theological Seminary and premiered at the Lincoln Center; “With What Shall I Come” (SATB), composed for the St. Olaf Choir and premiered at Carnegie Hall; “The Cry of Jeremiah,” a four-movement sacred work for narrator, SATB chorus, organ, and orchestra, commissioned by the American Guild of Organists and premiered at the Lincoln Center; and “Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit,” an SSAA spiritual arrangement performed by The Sofia Chamber Choir “Vassil Arnaudov” in Bulgaria, Southeastern Europe.

Dr. Powell currently holds the position of Professor of Voice at Auburn University and boasts an educational background that includes degrees from The Florida State University (D.M. in vocal performance, University Fellow), Westminster Choir College (M.M. in vocal performance and pedagogy, with distinction), and Alabama State University (B.M.E., summa cum laude). Before joining Auburn University in 2001, she served on the faculties of Philander Smith College (AR) and Georgia Southern University. In addition to her work as a composer, Dr. Powell is a skilled singer and voice professor, with her research focusing on African-American spiritual and vocal care for professionals, particularly music educators, choral directors, and choral singers. She shares her expertise through lectures, song demonstrations, and workshops, and she frequently serves as a clinician, conductor, and adjudicator for solo vocal competitions, honor choirs, choral workshops, and festivals both in the United States and abroad.

Awards & Recognitions

Dr. Powell has been recognized with various awards, including the “Luise Vosgerchian Teaching Award” from the Harvard University Office for the Arts in 2022. The Luise Vosgerchian Teaching Award holds significant importance in the realm of music education. Named after Luise Vosgerchian, a distinguished Harvard music professor known for her unwavering commitment to teaching and love for music, this award is bestowed upon individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the field.

The significance of Luise Vosgerchian Teaching Award is significant:

  • Recognition of Outstanding Contributions: This award acknowledges and celebrates the exceptional work of music educators who have made noteworthy contributions to the field. It highlights their dedication and the positive impact they have on students.
  • Promotion of Music Education: By honoring the recipients, the award emphasizes the significance of music education in students’ lives. Music education fosters creativity, critical thinking, and emotional intelligence in students while providing a sense of belonging and purpose.
  • Inspiration for Excellence: The award serves as an inspiration to other music educators, encouraging them to strive for excellence in their teaching practices. It sets a high standard for music education in the United States, motivating educators to improve continually.
  • Community Building: The award is a valuable asset to the music education community. It brings educators together, fostering a sense of pride and unity among those dedicated to nurturing the next generation of musicians.

It’s important not only to understand but also to remember, that the Luise Vosgerchian Teaching Award is a prestigious recognition that not only honors outstanding educators but also underscores the vital role of music education in students’ lives. It inspires excellence, sets standards, and strengthens the community of music educators. Rosephanye Powell clearly exemplifies these traits. 

Rosephanye Powell also received the “Living Legend Award” from the California State University African Diaspora Sacred Music Festival in Los Angeles The Center for the Study of African Diaspora Sacred Music and Musicians (ADSMM), located on the campus of California State University Dominguez Hills, is the world’s leading institution dedicated to the study and preservation of music by composers and performers from the African Diaspora. It operates as an archiving, research, and performance program within the College of Arts and Humanities at the university, with a primary goal of collecting, preserving through archival acquisition, and conducting contemporary research and performances that focus on the musical contributions of African Diaspora musicians in Southern California. Receiving the Living Legend Award is no insignificant accomplishment for any musician. 

She has also been featured in international publications such as Who Is Who in Choral Music, Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, and Outstanding Young Women in America.

Professional Associations

Dr. Powell, doesn’t just sit around and collect awards. She is a proud member of several professional organizations, Dr. Powell is affiliated with the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), Chorus America, the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), and the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO). These organizations play significant roles in the world of music, particularly in the field of choral and vocal music education, composition, and performance. In case any of our readers aren’t familar with them, here’s an explanation of the significance of each of these organizations:

  • American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP):
    • ASCAP is a performing rights organization that represents the interests of composers, authors, and music publishers. It ensures that music creators receive fair compensation when their works are performed publicly. ASCAP licenses music for various uses, including concerts, radio, television, and streaming platforms, and collects royalties on behalf of its members. This organization is crucial for supporting and protecting the rights of music creators and encouraging the creation of new music.
  • American Choral Directors Association (ACDA):
    • ACDA is an organization dedicated to promoting excellence in choral music education and performance. It brings together choral directors, conductors, and educators from all levels of education and performance to exchange ideas, share resources, and collaborate. ACDA provides valuable resources, workshops, and conferences for choral professionals, which help improve the quality of choral music education and performance across the United States.
  • Chorus America:
    • Chorus America is a service organization that supports and advocates for choruses, conductors, singers, and composers. It provides resources, research, and networking opportunities for choral organizations of all sizes and genres. Chorus America plays a vital role in advancing the choral arts by fostering collaboration, promoting diversity and inclusion, and supporting the development of choruses nationwide.
  • National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS):
    • NATS is an organization that serves voice teachers, vocal coaches, and singers. It offers professional development opportunities, conferences, and competitions for voice instructors and singers to enhance their skills and knowledge. NATS also promotes research and best practices in voice teaching and helps maintain high standards in vocal education, benefiting both vocal educators and aspiring singers.
  • National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO):
    • NCCO is a professional organization that focuses on collegiate and university-level choral programs. It brings together choral directors, conductors, and scholars to share pedagogical insights, discuss current trends, and foster collaboration among collegiate choirs. NCCO’s activities contribute to the growth and development of choral music at the collegiate level and ensure that students have access to high-quality choral experiences during their higher education.

These organizations collectively contribute to the promotion, preservation, and advancement of choral and vocal music, whether through supporting composers and performers, enhancing music education, or fostering collaboration among professionals in the field. They are vital components of the broader music community, helping to ensure that the beauty and cultural significance of choral and vocal music continue to thrive.

 It’s impossible to encapsulate the importance of Rosephanye Powell better than Dr. Andre J Thomas

“Rosephanye Powell has undoubtedly earned the place as one of our great female choral composers. Her writing style is accessible for singers of all ages, making her a popular composer featured on Honor and All-State Choir Programs. Whether writing a short octavo-length piece or an extended work, her knowledge of the voice, voice leading, and her gift for melody will ensure the consumer a high-quality composition.” – Dr. Andre Thomas National Vice President ACDA, Visiting Professor of Choral Conducting, Yale University

 

Product Details

  • Price:  $3.45 (US)
  • Inventory: #HL 08739198
  • UPC: 073999454710
  • Publisher Code: JG2293
  • Width: 6.75″
  • Length: 10.5″
  • Page Count: 16 Pages

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HL08739198

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The Music of Langston Hughes

Inspired by his messages of justice, freedom, and the hope that a brighter future lies ahead, notable composers and arrangers have beautifully coupled Langston Hughes' passionate words with equally captivating music.

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This Music of Langston Hughes website has been developed by the Fred Bock Publishing Group.

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