A new anthology of choral music features works composed exclusively by black composers.

Published by Oxford University Press (OUP) and edited by the conductor, educator and composer Marques L. A. Garrett, The Oxford Book of Choral Music by Black Composers highlights the contributions by composers of African descent.

Garrett has chosen a range of composers spanning several centuries, from the 16th century to the present day. The book aims to address a historical lack of representation of black musicians and composers in the choral canon.

Published on 2 February, 2023 during OUP Music’s Centenary year, the anthology includes music by historical composers such as Vicente Lusitano, Florence Price and Nathaniel Dett, as well as living composers including Zanaida Robles, B. E. Boykin, and Robert A. Harris.

Music from the anthology has been recorded by London Voices, conducted by Shivani Rattan and produced by Ken Burton, and is available across all major streaming platforms from 16 January 2023.

'The Oxford Book of Choral Music by Black Composers is a product of my research into the original, non-idiomatic choral music of black composers,' Garrett explains. 'Through publishing this anthology with Oxford University Press, we are raising the profile of composers who have added great value to the choral repertoire but who have previously been and continue to be underrepresented.

'It is my hope that the collection will be a great resource for classes, conductors, teachers, and choirs everywhere, and a source of inspiration for those in underrepresented communities looking to pursue their passions.'

Rachel Lindley, director of the music department at Oxford University Press, added: 'We are thrilled to have worked with Marques L. A. Garrett and to be able to showcase this wonderful music through its publication. It’s so important that we contribute to a more diverse and inclusive publishing landscape and, while we have much progress to make, we see this collection as a positive step in the right direction, making this great music easily accessible to choirs the world over.'

Here is a link to buy The Oxford Book of Choral Music by Black Composers:

Picture of Marques L. A. Garrett by Justin R. Robinson


Steve Wright
Steve WrightMulti-Platform Content Producer, BBC Music Magazine

Steve has been an avid listener of classical music since childhood, and now contributes a variety of features to BBC Music’s magazine and website. He started writing about music as Arts Editor of an Oxford University student newspaper and has continued ever since, serving as Arts Editor on various magazines.