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elisa_rolle

Eugene W. Hancock (February 17, 1929 - January 21, 1994)

Eugene W. Hancock was a distinguished organist, composer, professor of music, and authority on the Organ Music of Black Composers. (Photo: courtesy The American Organist)

He received his bachelor of music degree from the University of Detroit, his master's degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and a doctorate in sacred music from Union Theological Seminary in New York. He studied organ with William I. Green, Alle Zuideman, Robert Cato, Marilyn Mason,Vernon DeTar and Alec Wyton, and composition with Seth Bingham and Joseph Goodman.

In New York he served as assistant organist at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (1963-66), organist-choirmaster of St. Philip's Episcopal Church (1974-82), and organist-choirmaster and director of music at West End Presbyterian Church (1982-90). In Detroit he was organist-choirmaster at New Calvary Baptist Church (1967-70), St. Philip's Lutheran Church and St. Titus Lutheran Church.

Dr. Hancock was a professor of music at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (CUNY) from 1970 until his death in 1994.

He was the presenter and performer for the American Guild of Organists Educational Cassette Organ Music of Black Composers (1992), featuring works by Ayo Bankole, Henry Sexton, Ralph Simpson, Don Lee White, Ulysses Kay, Joseph Hayes, Charles Coleman, Mark Fax, Adolphus Hailstork, George Walker, Samuel C. Taylor and Fela Sowande. The American Organist published his article "Organ Music by Black Composers" in 1981.

His own compositions include Absalom and Nunc Dimittis for baritone and piano (1977); As Smoke Is Blown Away for SATB, organ, brass quartet and timpani; numerous anthems such as Behold The Highly Esteemed Priest, written for the Archbishop of Canterbury's visit to St. Philip's Church in 1981; The Death of Jesus: A Cantata (1982); the hymn tunes Hancock (1989), Myrtle and Carmon (1992); The Wrath of God (1991), premiered by organist David Hurd; and Fantasy for Organ (1985), performed by Herman D. Taylor at the 1985 Black American Music Symposium in Ann Arbor and the 1992 American Guild of Organists Convention in Atlanta, and broadcast on Pipedreams (Minnesota Public Radio).

Many of his works were published, and several have been included in anthologies such as Anthology of Art Songs by Black American Composers, compiled by Willis C. Patterson (Edward B. Marks), African-American Organ Music Anthology, edited by Mickey Thomas Terry (Morningstar Music), 100 Hymns of Hope (Hope Publishing) and The Presbyterian Hymnal (Westminster/John Knox Press).

Dr. Hancock was an active member of the American Guild of Organists, serving as sub-dean of the New York City AGO Chapter (1977-78), member of the National Council (1977-82) and State Chairman, Metropolitan New York (1985-87). He was also a member of the National Association of Negro Musicians, the Association of Anglican Musicians, The Bohemians, the Saint Wilfrid Club, the Society of College Composers, the Hymn Society of America and the Presbyterian Association of Musicians. —Nurit Tilles

Source: http://www.artistswithaids.org/artforms/music/catalogue/hancock.html

Further Readings:

Thirteen Spirituals for Equal Voices in Unison and Two Parts, with Organ, and Unaccompanied by Eugene W. Hancock
Pamphlet: 48 pages
Publisher: H. W. Gray Publications
ASIN: B00C6N9N02
Amazon: Thirteen Spirituals for Equal Voices in Unison and Two Parts, with Organ, and Unaccompanied

More LGBT History at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Gay Classics


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