Atlanta Music Festival Champions African-American Composers

The First Congregational Church will host its annual Atlanta Music Festival this weekend, which highlights African-American composers.

Courtesy of First Congregational Church

After members of the First Congregational Church were denied entry to a performance by the Metropolitan Opera in 1909, they made their own festival to highlight the works of African American composers.

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The festival continues today, now under the directorship of First Church’s senior pastor the Rev. Dr. Dwight Andrews. He is also a professor of Music at Emory University and an active composer and jazz musician.

Andrews joined Lois Reitzes to talk about the contents of the program, which will feature works by contemporary composers Carlos Simon of Spelman College and Robert Tanner of Morehouse College.

It will also features works from legendary composers Florence Price, Will Marion Cook and Frederick Tillus. Participating choruses include The Agnes Scott Collegiate Chorale, The Meridian Chorale, The Clark Atlanta University Concert Choir and First Congregational Church Chancel Choir.

That concert is tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. at First Congregational Church in downtown Atlanta.