University of Arizona
College of Fine Arts - School of Music

Choral Studies

Distinguished Speakers Series

John Michael Cooper

The Africans, Who are a Part of My Ancestry Say…

Dr. John Michael Cooper, Professor of Music (Music Literature) at Southwestern University (Georgetown, Texas), is currently at work on the first book-length biography of Margaret Bonds, to be published in the Master Musicians series of Oxford University Press in 2024. He is the editor of seventy works of Florence B. Price published in sixty volumes by G. Schirmer in 2019-21, and chief contributing editor to the Margaret Bonds Signature Series of Hildegard Publishing Company (ongoing), is the author of the Historical Dictionary of Romantic Music (Scarecrow Press), three other books on Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, and sixteen editions of music published by Bärenreiter and other German and American publishers. His book titled Margaret Bonds: The Montgomery Variations and Du Bois “Credo” is at press with Cambridge University Press, and he recently authored the first-ever entries on Bonds and Price for Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart.

Table of Contents

  • 00:00 Introduction and brief biography of Margaret Bonds
  • 11:57 Margaret Bonds and Her Heritage as Reflected in Her Writings
  • 21:28 Translating the Heritage (1): The CREDO
  • 25:44 Performance of “Especially Do I Believe in the Negro Race” (from CREDO) by Nicole Joseph and Conspirare, with Anton Nel, piano, conducted by Craig Hella Johnson
  • 29:43 Translating the Heritage (2): The Spirituals
  • 34:00 Performance of “You Can Tell the World” by Karen Slack and Michelle Cann
  • 37:08 Discussion of “We Shall Overcome” (unpublished)
  • 43:18 Two Tales Entwined: CREDO and Eight Spirituals
  • 57:04 A Beautiful Ending