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Adolphus Hailstork, professor of music at Old Dominion University and one of the nation's most heralded composers, was featured on National Public Radio's All Things Considered program May 23.

Hailstork's music, as well as an interview, were part of the program's coverage of the Cincinnati May Festival, the oldest continuing choral festival in the Western Hemisphere.

According to reporter Naomi Lewin, festival organizers hope the music will not only inspire people, but also will help soften racial tensions that erupted in riots last year in the Ohio city. Hailstork's presence, and that of other African American musicians, is most welcome, she explained.

"Hailstork is pleased to stand as an example of a composer who is not dead, European or white, and he hopes that will inspire som of the schoolkids who met him," she said.

The composer spent a week visiting Cincinnati's public schools. When asked what he hopes his music accomplishes, Hailstork explained it simply. "To speak for human beings, to human beings about serious issues, sometimes light-hearted issues that stirs their spirits and soothes their souls, I mean, this is what I wanted to do with music."

This article was posted on: May 24, 2002

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