Mary Lathem

Playlist: Song & Celebration for Juneteenth

By Hayden Neumann and Mary Lathem

On June 19, 1865, enslaved African Americans in Texas were finally informed of their freedom nearly two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. The anniversary of that day became Juneteenth, a globally celebrated holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States and honors African American culture and achievements. Since the earliest Juneteenth celebrations over 150 years ago, themes of family togetherness, freedom, progress, and the continued struggle for equity that Black Americans face have been at the forefront.

We’re celebrating Juneteenth 2023 with jubilant works written by African American composers, many of which paint heartfelt pictures of faith, family, liberation, and identity. Wishing all WDAV friends and family members who are celebrating this weekend a joyful and meaningful Juneteenth!

  1. Lift Every Voice and Sing (John Rosamond Johnson) – We Shall Overcome (The Boys Choir of Harlem)
  2. Fanfare on Amazing Grace (Adolphus Hailstork) – Hailstork: Orchestral Music (Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Joann Falletta)
  3. Maple Leaf Rag (Scott Joplin) – Joplin: Piano Rags, Vol. 1 (Alexander Peskanov)
  4. The Princeton Grand March (Francis “Frank” Johnson) – Those Fabulous Americans (Symphony Orchestra of America)
  5. Simon Bore the Cross: III. The Trial (Margaret Bonds) – Margaret Bonds: Credo; Simon Bore the Cross (Langston Hughes, Malcolm J. Merriweather, The Dessoff Choirs, The Dessoff Orchestra)
  6. Piano Quintet in A Minor: III. Juba (Florence Beatrice Price) – Uncovered, Vol.2: Florence B. Price (Catalyst Quartet)
  7. Violin Concerto in D Major: 2. Rondo Burlesque (Wynton Marsalis) – Marsalis: Violin Concerto; Fiddle Dance Suite (Nicola Benedetti, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cristian Măcelaru)
  8. Troubled Water (Margaret Bonds) – Some Of These Days (Lara Downes)
  9. Short Piece for Orchestra (Julia Perry) – Music of Talma, Fine, Perry, Daniels & Howe (Imperial Philharmonic of Tokyo, William Strickland)
  10. Symphony No. 1 in E Minor: IV. Finale, Presto (Florence Beatrice Price) – Florence Price: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 3 (Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin)
  11. Cyclone Galop (Thomas “Blind Tom” Wiggins) – Halley’s Comet: Around the Piano with Mark Twain & John Davis (John Davis)
  12. Lilacs for Voice and Orchestra: :I (George Walker) – Lilacs (Arizona State University Symphony Orchestra, Timothy Russell)
  13. Strum (Jessie Montgomery) – Strum: Music for Strings (Catalyst Quartet)
  14. Tale Of Two Powers 1 (Terence Blanchard) – BlacKkKlansman (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Terence Blanchard)
  15. Suite for Violin and Piano: I. African Dancer (William Grant Still) – Roots (Randall Goosby, Zhu Wang)
  16. Suite from “The Quiet One”: Street Wanderings (Ulysses Kay) – Works for Chamber Orchestra (Metropolitan Philharmonic Orchestra, Kevin Scott)
  17. Piano Concerto No. 1: III. Lento-Vivace (Adolphus Hailstork) – Elfman: Violin Concerto, ‘Eleven Eleven’ – Hailstork: Piano Concerto No. 1 (Stewart Goodyear, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Joann Falletta)
  18. There Is a Balm in Gilead (Arr. W.L. Dawson for Choir) (William L. Dawson) – The Spirituals of William L. Dawson (Marvis Martin, The St. Olaf Choir, Anton Armstrong)
  19. Movement IV: Southwestern Shakedown (Wynton Marsalis) – Blues Symphony (Philadelphia Orchestra, Cristian Măcelaru)
  20. Basque Folk Song (Clarence Cameron White) – But Not Forgotten (Marcus Eley, Lucerne DeSa)
  21. 3 Spirituals for Orchestra: No. 3. Oh Freedom (Adolphus Hailstork) – Hailstork: Orchestral Music (Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Joann Falletta)
  22. Afro-American Suite for Flute, Cello and Piano: II. Allegro molto e marcato (Undine Smith Moore) – Flute and Piano Music by Composers of African Descent, Vol. 2 (Laurel Zucker, John Cozza, Jia-Mo Chen)
  23. Negro Folk Symphony: III. O Let Me Shine! (William Dawson) – Dawson & Kay: Orchestral Works (ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Arthur Fagen)
  24. Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing (John Rosamond Johnson) – The Essential Leontyne Price: Spirituals, Hymns & Sacred Songs (Leontyne Price, Charles Gerhardt, National Philharmonic Orchestra)