Have you ever heard of Florence Price? If not, a group of NYC students is making sure Price’s life story and impact in music is more widely known.
Three students of the Special Music School in Manhattan banded together with the support of their English teacher to write a book on the late music composer’s life and history-making legacy.
“Our children are musicians, so whether or not we intentionally draw it together, they bring music into the classroom everyday in the most delightful ways,” Shannon Potts, the students’ English teacher told NPR.
“So if you’re talking about themes and poetry, immediately a child will qualify it with the way that a theme repeats in music.”
Potts assigned her middle school grades to study the life and work of Florence Price whose has attracted renewed interest in her groundbreaking feats even in the face of barriers because of her race and gender.
Price was born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1887. In 1933, she became the first Black woman to have her music played by a major American orchestra symphony. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed her original composition, Symphony No. 1 and the following year played her Piano Concerto in One Movement.
In 1939, renowned opera singer Marian Anderson gave a famed performance at the Lincoln Memorial and included Price’s arrangement of the spiritual, “My Soul Is Anchored In The Lord.”
When the students began researching the few material available about Price, they eventually got the idea to write something about her life aimed at kids.
The result? An illustrated kid-friendly book about Florence Price and her trailblazing achievements.
To learn more about Florence Price, you have options and can support a Black woman-owned bookstore in Philadelphia!
Check out Rae Linda Brown‘s The Heart of a Woman: The Life and Music of Florence B. Price published just last year, by clicking here.
To purchase the students’ finished book, Who Is Florence Price? Young Musicians Tell the Story of a Girl and Her Music, click here.