Friday, February 20, 2015

2015 Grammy Awards: Sam Smith Wins Big!

Sam Smith had a huge night at the Grammy Awards, picking up four awards, three of them in major categories: best new artist and song of the year and record of the year for smash hit “Stay With Me.”

But it wasn’t quite a clean sweep. Beck surprised everyone with an album of the year win for “Morning Phase.” And Kanye West tried to upstage his own infamous award show momemt as he “jokingly” hopped on stage when Beck won out over BeyoncĂ©.

The rest of the show featured a surprising amount of very serious performances. Usher performed a tribute to Stevie Wonder and Katy Perry performed her new song dedicated to a survivor of domestic violence. 

Check out a full list of Grammy Award winners here!

Friday, February 6, 2015

In Honor of Black History Month: African American Spirituals by Harry T. Burleigh

Henry "Harry" Thacker Burleigh was an African American classical composer, arranger, and professional singer. He was the first black composer to be instrumental in the development of a home-grown American form of music termed “Negro Spirituals.” Legend holds, he originally heard the music sung by his blind grandfather as a young boy. 

As a music editor for Franco Colombo Music in New York City, Burleigh helped to make these Spirituals available to classically-trained artists both by introducing them to the music and by arranging the music in a more classical form.

Ultimately, Dr. Burleigh became a founding member of ASCAP and his music was instrumental in launching the careers of legendary talents like Marian Anderson and Paul Robeson. Check out the sheet music for Dr. Burleigh’s American Negro Spirituals here!