Frances Walker-Slocum’s Brilliance and Advocacy: Bringing Black Classical Composers to the Forefront of Oberlin Conservatory

Document 1: Bicentennial Program Review   |     Document 2: Oakwood College Concert Program
      Document 3: African-American Music Festival Concert Program  (includes audio)   |     Document 4: Oberlin Faculty Recital Concert Program
 Document 5: Tenure Recommendation      |     Document 6: Letter from Oberlin President Starr
Document 7: Interview      |      Bibliography      |     Notable Figures

Document 3: African-American Music Festival Concert Program

Title: African-American Music Festival Concert

Date: 29 September 1978

Document Type: Typed Document

Location: Frances Walker Slocum Papers, RG 30/222, Box 1, O. C. A.

This concert program was from one of Frances Walker-Slocum’s first recitals at Oberlin College. The only piece shared between this concert and The Bicentennial Program was Scott Joplin’s “Cascades.” All the pieces performed were by Black composers. Given the dominance of the Eurocentric canon of the Conservatory at the time, this was likely one of the first, if not the first concert of its kind at Oberlin.

Selections from 24 Negro Melodies, featuring Frances Walker on piano:[1]

Deep River


Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel?

Going Up


Let Us Cheer The Weary Traveller


Steal Away


I Wade In The Water

Original                       Both                    Transcription









Warner Concert Hall                           Friday, September 29, 1978                                   8:30 P.M.


* Five Pieces for Piano                                                                                           Wendell Logan

(b. 1940)


Sonata No. 2                                                                                                           George Walker


Adagio non troppo





Twenty-Four Negro Melodies[2]                                                               Samuel Coleridge-Taylor


I Was Way Down A-Yonder

Goin’ Up

The Bamboula


The Cascades                                                                                                                          Scott Joplin


Frances Walker, piano




The Easy Winners                                                                                                          Scott Joplin


The Entertainer                                                                                                               Scott Joplin

Arr. by D.S. DeLisle


The Cascades                                                                                                                            Scott Joplin

Arr. by E.J. Stark


Maple Leaf Rag                                                                                                           Scott Joplin



Jean Hasse, piccolo/flute                                                       Lorecia Cox, violin

Maria Vankalken, clarinet                                                       Linda Harris, violin

Robert Howard, trumpet                                                         David Rogers, viola

Michael Mossman, trumpet                                                    Aaron Henderson, cello

Owen Glendening, trombone                                                  Daniel Savage, bass

Dianne Cooper, violin                                                              André Whatley, drums

Marianne Smith, violin                                                 Tim Shafer, piano


*First Performance[3]

[1] Coleridge-Taylor, Samuel, writer. COLERIDGE-TAYLOR, S.: 24 Negro Melodies (F. Walker). Performed by Frances Walker. Recorded 1978. Orion Records, CD.  Thanks to Marquis Music for permission to post the music.

[2] Walker-Slocum recorded Twenty-Four Negro Melodies with Orion Records (Programs from Non-Oberlin Recitals, Frances Walker Slocum Papers, RG 30/222, Box 1, O. C. A.).

[3] Walker-Slocum debuted Wendell Logan’s “Five Pieces for Piano” at this concert. Logan, a colleague of Walker-Slocum, likely trusted her greatly to perform his new work (Frances Walker-Slocum, A Miraculous Life (Bloomington, Indiana: AuthorHouse, 2006), 150).