Oberlin College & Conservatory presents

Cultural Context in Dett's "The Ordering of Moses"

Thursday | January 19 2023 | 5:30 pm


This event will be livestreamed here on January 19.

Hear scholars and performers discuss the enduring impact of R. Nathaniel Dett, a Canadian-American composer of African heritage who championed the use of Negro spirituals and folk songs as a basis for Western classical compositions—a practice that took root during his studies at Oberlin. Dett’s 1932 oratorio “The Ordering of Moses” is widely considered his magnum opus both in compositional scale and in its articulation of Black identity and artistry. This discussion will bring together prominent scholars from the fields of African American music, choral music, ethnomusicology, music theory, religion, and music performance to explore Dett’s music, life, and ideas. On the day following this discussion (January 20), Oberlin Conservatory’s orchestra and choral ensembles will perform “The Ordering of Moses” at Carnegie Hall. 

Courtney-Savali Andrews, Assistant Professor of African American and African Diasporic Musics at Oberlin College and Conservatory

Fredara Hadley, Ethnomusicology Professor at the Juilliard School
Jeannie Ma. Guerrero, Retired Associate Professor of Music Theory at the Eastman School of Music
Cheryl Kirk-Duggan, Professor-Emerita of Religion and Women's Studies at Shaw University
Marques L.A. Garrett, Assistant Professor of Music in Choral Activities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Damien Sneed, Jazz Faculty at the Manhattan School of Music
Roland Carter, Holmberg Professor Emeritus of American Music at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; former Music Department Chair and Choir Director at Hampton University

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