1938 - 1996
Reginald R. Rison (1938 – 1996), born in Brooklyn, New York, is best known for his orchestral and choral works. He studied at various schools including, Juilliard, Fisk University, Brooklyn College, Manhattan School of Music, and Teachers College. During his education, he studied under John Work, Leon Kushner, and Neils Ostbye and earned a bachelor’s in piano, a master’s in piano, and a doctorate in music education. As an active pianist, Rison performed throughout the United States, France, Canada, and the Virgin Islands, however he also had skills as a singer, jazz dancer, and choreographer as well as composer. In addition to his artistry, he taught music, English, Spanish, voice, piano, and choir in New York public schools and Colleges in Dallas. While in Dallas, Rison became the president of Dallas African-American Composers and Performers Oraganized, Inc (DACAPO). In 1986, two years after he moved to Dallas, the Dallas Symphony and Barbara Moore performed excerpts from his most popular work, Freedom Suite. The Texas Composers Forum also presented some of his original works in 1989.