Upcoming Art Songs from the African Diaspora and beyond

  •  June 21, 2024 - June 23, 2024
     6:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Level: Intermediate-Advanced
Fee: £352

Art Songs from the African Diaspora and beyond

with Michael Harper

Explore Art Songs by African and Mixed-Heritage Composers and the influence of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Harry T. Burleigh on generations of composers of African heritage along with songs that grew out of the many local, indigenous, and national influences from various countries and regions around the world. There will be a focus on stylistic interpretation, diction, poetry, and historic context. Particular emphasis will be given to Black Women Composers. Some of the music is readily available in anthologies or on the websites of the composers and the African American Art Song Alliance. Please see below for a full list of anthologies and suggested repertoire. Any American song or any song in English is also welcomed.  Of course,  the songs by African-heritage composers could be in other languages as well.

This course will focus widening knowledge and there will be an opportunity to learn some songs as a group.

Each participant should prepare two or three art songs, one could be a  spiritual, and will have individual coaching sessions in the group. Duos and singers with their own accompanist are also welcome to attend, to work with the tutors.

“Great tutoring, inspiring music. Thanks to Michael’s huge array of knowledge, repertoire & literature, I have a much better idea of composers, their particular styles, and influences, and where to find out further information now”.

Repertoire Suggestions:

Particular emphasis will be given to Black Women Composers including: Amanda Ira Aldridge, Margaret Bonds, Brittney Elizabeth Boykin, Valerie Capers, Avril Coleridge-Taylor, Maria Thompson Corley, Shirley Graham Du Bois, Jacqui Hairston, Hannah Kendall, Betty Jackson King, Dominique Le Gendre, Dorothy Rudd Moore, Undine Smith Moore, Nailah Nombeko, Julia Perry, Zenobia Powell Perry, Florence Price, Shirley Thompson, Errollyn Wallen. Some of the music is readily available in anthologies or on the websites of the composers; List of Anthologies of Art Songs by Black American Composers.

Other sources for information are the African American Art Song Alliance, African Diaspora Music Project, Videmus Publishing and Classical Music Reprints – Glendower Jones.

A £70 deposit is required to secure your place on this course. The balance of fees, including accommodation, is due 3 weeks before the course start date.

Details Price Qty
Attendee - Deposit £70.00 (GBP)  


Venue Phone: 01373 812383

Jackdaws Music Education Trust, Great Elm, Frome, Somerset, BA11 3NY, United Kingdom


Course Information

Is this Course right for me?

The answer is probably yes as we welcome musicians of all abilities and backgrounds on our courses but if you would like to find out more before you book please do email or call our office manager Karolyn on 01373812383 / music@jackdaws.org and she will be able to offer further guidance.

Observer places may also be bookable subject to availability call/email the office for more information.

Please see our General Course Information pages for further details and schedule information.

Our Courses are for adult musicians (except where stated) and take place at Jackdaws in Great Elm, near Frome in Somerset. The Course Fee includes all tuition, meals and refreshments at Jackdaws. Courses take place in the main studio, with Steinway piano, and generally follow a masterclass format. There are several practice rooms here, too.


For Voice, Piano & Wind courses; participants are usually requested to prepare 2 – 3 pieces in advance. We will ask you to provide a repertoire list for the tutor (& accompanist) ahead of the course.

For Ensemble courses; direction will be given by the course leaders.


If you require B&B, we can arrange that for you; accommodation fees are payable in addition to the course fee.

Meals and Refreshments

Lunch, Supper and morning/afternoon refreshments will be prepared on site by our dedicated Cooks.  If you are vegetarian/vegan, or have a food allergy, you must let us know in advance, so that our cooks can plan the meals for the weekend accordingly. We are ‘allergy aware’, but we rely on participants letting us know if they have specific food allergies. Please also let us know if you carry any emergency medication.

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