The close relationship that developed between [Roger] Cooper and [William] Warfield planted the seeds for Classically Black, a series Cooper has produced about classically trained African American musicians. "I loved to talk to him about the early days and about the musicians he knew," says Cooper. "I thought it would be great if everyone could hear his stories."
[. . .] Cooper says he sees the programs as a kind of long-term outreach project. "Hopefully, we'll get more black people interested in classical music," he says. Often, people aren't aware of the contributions of African American musicians. "I have degrees in music and I didn't hear about them. You don't learn about black composers in music history classes," says Cooper, who has completed coursework for a doctorate in voice performance and literature at the U of I. In the past, little radio programming was available about classical music of black composers and musicians, says Cooper. "There was a need for it that wasn't being met. More is available now, and maybe we've had something to do with that."
Can I mention him without mentioning his politics? This isn't a political entry. You can tell. There's no swearing.
S'weird, I know the names, I've heard a bit of the music, but you could fill several libraries with what I don't know about. . . well, anything, really, but especially the personal and professional lives of these performers. Unfortunately (for me), since the program airs on WILL FM (the [we'll say classical for shorthand, even if that is inaccurate, I know, shaddap] classical station), some background knowledge is assumed that, um, I ain't got. I thought Puccini was some fancy I-talian shoemaker.
Update: My bad, Grammy Award winner Trina Shoemaker worked with The Moon Seven Times. One of the members of M7x was Henry Frayne. The program Classics of the Phonograph: Great Recordings of the Past on WILL is hosted by John Frayne, who if I remember a'right is Henry's dad.
You might be wondering what this has to do with anything.
Just thought I'd mention it.