Dawson, William Levi

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Dawson, William Levi

Dawson, William Levi , black American composer; b. Anniston, Ala., Sept. 26, 1898; d. Tuskegee, Ala., May 2, 1990. He ran away from home at 13 to enter the Tuskegee Inst., and later played trombone on the Redpath Chautauqua Circuit. After graduating from the Tuskegee Inst. in 1921, he studied with Carl Busch in Kansas City and at the American Cons, in Chicago (M.A., 1927). He played first trombone in the Chicago Civic Orch. (1926–30), and then conducted the Tuskegee Choir. Among his works was a Negro Folk Symphony (Philadelphia, Nov. 16,1934; rev. 1952), Out in the Fields for Soprano and Orch. (1928), Scherzo for Orch. (1930), A Negro Work Song for Orch. (1940), Piano Trio (1925), Violin Sonata (1927), many choral part songs, and numerous arrangements of spirituals and black folk songs.


J. Spady, W. L.D.: A Umum Tribute (Philadelphia, 1981).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire