By M. Scott Morris
TUPELO - It's too late to discover William Grant Still, but it's a good time to rediscover the Mississippi-born composer.
"African-American composers' stories have not been recorded with as much integrity as scholars today would probably like," said James Martin, a voice teacher at Millsaps College. "We are recovering a story that was lost in so many ways."
Still's life is featured in "William Grant Still: Inspired to Inspiring," an exhibit on display at the Lee County Library until March 27.
A contemporary of Scott Joplin, Eubie Blake and W.C. Handy, Still earned distinction in the worlds of jazz and classical music.
"In his work, there is something substantial that does have a point of view, that does have a multicultural perspective," Martin said.
Still, a Woodville native, was the first black man to:
n Conduct a major American symphony orchestra.
n Have his work performed by a leading orchestra.
n Have an opera performed by a major opera company.
n Have an opera performed on national television.
Martin served as editor of "Inspired to Inspiring," Emily Erwin and Rori Herbison performed the research and the graphics were provided by Laura Fleeman.
The exhibit is a group project of the Mississippi Arts Commission, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, the Mississippi Humanities Council and the Mississippi Library Commission.