Our Vision

  • To create a repository for the concert works (those intended for the concert stage; aka classical works) of composers of the African Diaspora. (The African Diaspora in this context is defined as those composers throughout the world descended from people of West and Central Africa).
  • To provide access to scores, recordings, and programmatic information about these composers and their extant works for students, teachers, professionals and presenters.
  • To encourage the research, exploration and performance of these works.
  • To assist students who wish to enter the George Shirley African American Art Song and Operatic Aria Competition with appropriate repertoire choices.
competition winners (l-r) Soprano Marquita Lister works with Oliva Johnson during her masterclass.


Our Purpose

Although much interest has been shown in this repertoire by scholars and performers, there is also much frustration because it has been difficult to locate and oftentimes not in print. This phase of the project focuses on the art song (other genres will follow) and delivers a searchable online database and printed book (release to follow) that organizes more than 2000 entries to help further the study of this neglected repertoire. The project will continue to evolve as new entries are created, and additional media & supporting materials are added in the near future for each entry.

The database is organized and searchable by several fields e.g. composer, title of work, cycle, publisher, and poet. You can also search specifically for women composers, spirituals or search by pre-assigned stylistic periods. In addition, each record includes the key, range, date of composition, the presence of dialect, and notes about the composition such as dedications or first performances. If a work appears in more than one collection, citations are given to help researchers find any of the collections for a particular work.

Our Mission

  • To create a repository of music
  • To provide access to scores
  • To encourage research, exploration and performance of new works
  • To assist student competitors

Help Support

Help us to educate more people about this repertoire. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today.

All Payments are processed through Videmus, Inc., a 501(c)(3). Videmus provides fundraising and administrative support for this project as well as for the George Shirley Vocal competition. All payments made on this site directly benefit the continuation of this project.

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