Dr. Adolphus C. Hailstork will pick up a special award, as the City of Norfolk and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra honor Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. in a free concert on Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. at Second Calvary Baptist Church. Mayor Paul Fraim will provide welcoming remarks.
Among the pieces featured on the program will be “Fanfare on Amazing Grace,” by Dr. Hailstork; the Martin Luther King section of Duke Ellington’s “Three Black Kings,” featuring saxophonist, Stephanie Sanders; and “Mother and Child,” the second movement of “Suite for Violin and Orchestra” by George Walker, featuring Brendon Elliott on violin. Benjamin Rous will conduct the orchestra with Norfolk State University’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble, performing Moses Hogan’s “His Light Still Shines.”
Hailstork, the recipient of the VSO’s first Dreamer Award, is known nationally and internationally. He is an Old Dominion University professor of music where he is also composer-in-residence.
The composer began his career at his home piano. He finished undergraduate studies at Howard University, where he wrote and performed The Race for Space in his senior year. The moon was the limit, he decided after earning his doctoral degree at Michigan State University in 1971.
Among his compositions are Celebration, which, in 1976, was recorded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra; Out of the Depths, which won the 1977 Belwin-Mills Max Winkler Award presented by the Band Directors National Association; American Guernica, awarded first prize in a national contest sponsored by the Virginia College Band Directors in 1983; and Mourn Not the Dead which received the 1971 Ernest Bloch Award for choral composition. In 1995, the chamber work, Consort Piece, was awarded first prize by the University of Delaware Festival of Contemporary Music.
His accomplishments include many other significant performances by major orchestras, among them, Philadelphia, Chicago and New York.
In 1992, Dr. Hailstork became the cultural laureate of the State of Virginia. Hailstork has written numerous works for chorus, solo voice, piano, organ, various chamber ensembles, band, and orchestra.
His works blend musical ideas from both the African American and European traditions.