In that vein, how many know the name of William Grant Still and his accomplishments. Would you believe his first calling was classical music. After a few detours in regard to genre that included playing with W. C. Handy, ventures into Blues, jazz, ragtime, as well as composing for musicals. But let it not be forgot that his best known composition, Afro-American Symphony, infused with black musical signatures, was performed by the Rochester Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Howard Hanson, thus becoming the first work of its kind by a black to be performed by a major symphony orchestra.
Juxtaposed to Grant, we look at the Father of Gospel Music, Thomas Dorsey. He is the composer of "Precious Lord, Take My Hand" and is also the one who discovered Mahalia Jackson. His philosophy about gospel music is refreshing. “Gospel is good music sent down from the Lord to save the people…There is no such thing as black music, white music, red or blue music…It’s what everybody needs.”