The music of Adolphus Hailstork is frequently performed and commissioned by acclaimed ensembles throughout the United States. He studied at the Manhattan School of Music under Vittorio Giannini and David Diamond, at the American Institute at Fontainebleau with Nadia Boulanger, and at Howard University with Mark Fax. Hailstork also obtained his doctoral degree in composition from Michigan State University, where he studied under H. Owen Reed. His compositions include operas, symphonies, works for chorus, solo voice, piano, organ, and chamber ensembles. Currently, he is professor of music and composer-in-residence at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia and is writing his Fourth Symphony, along with a requiem cantata for George Floyd titled A Knee on a Neck, for chorus and orchestra.
Today’s opening voluntary, When storms arise, is drawn from his cantata Crispus Attucks, honoring the man who is widely recognized as the first person killed in the Boston Massacre. Hailstork later combined When storms arise with two of his other compositions and created a set called Three Dunbar Hymns. All three pieces are settings of poems titled “Hymn” by Paul Laurence Dunbar.
– From notes by Philip Brunelle