The Awakening

Publication Information

Published in Performance Series: Art Songs and Spirituals By Contemporary African American Composers (2010)


I did not know that life could be so sweet,
I did not know the hours could speed so
Till I knew you, and life was sweet again.
The days grew brief with love and lack of
I was slave a few short days ago,
The powers of Kings and Princes now I know;
I would not be again in bondage, save
I had your smile, the liberty I crave.

Original Listing

Paul Laurence Dunbar, The Awakening

Biographical Information

(b. 1941) Adolphus Hailstork earned his doctorate in composition from Michigan State University, where he was a student of H. Owen Reed. He completed earlier studies at the Manhattan School of Music under Vittorio Giannini and David Diamond and earned his bachelor's degree in music theory from Howard University under Mark Fax. He also studied at the American Institute at Fontainebleau with Nadia Boulanger. He is currently a professor of music and composer-in-residence at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.

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