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Oral history interview with Hale Smith, 1999 June, 2003

Identifier: M450.05.00007


Hale Smith recounts his early experiences with music beginning with piano lessons at the age of 7, and recognizing his desire to create his own music. He discusses his approach to composing, and his belief that there is no single formula for composing. He describes spirituals as folk songs initially composed by individuals, but transformed over time to be the true voice of a people performing them. He contrasts the musical genre of gospels that he believes are most effectively performed and delivered only as part of a church experience, with spirituals that have been successfully transferred to the concert hall.


  • 1999 June
  • Issued: 2003


Digital Repository

Oral history interview with Hale Smith

Biographical / Historical

Hale Smith (1925-) is a free-lance contemporary composer and arranger, and received his B.M. and M.M. degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music. He is Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of Connecticut (Storrs), and has served on the faculty of the C.W. Post College (Long Island, N.Y.) and as Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at Xavier College (New Orleans, La.). He has also worked as editor for the music publishers E.B. Marks and Sam Fox, and has received numerous honors and awards, including the Cleveland Arts Prize Music Award.


1 Items ; 76 minutes

Scope and Contents

From the Collection: This collection is divided into 4 series. Series 1: Correspondence and Reports; Series 2: Programs; Series 3: Posters; Series 4: Memorabilia.


Conducted June, 1999, in Freeport, N.Y.


Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

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