Dr. Raymond Wise presents African American Composers

Exploring the classical piano works of African American composers for
incorporation into classical piano studios
Monday, January 18, 2021 on Zoom
(link will be sent the night before via email)
Dr. Raymond Wise, Clinician

This lecture will provide an historical survey of the classical piano works of African American composers. Through lecture, listening and live performances, participants will become acquainted with selected classical works by African American composers and learn practical tips on teaching and incorporating these works into their personal and student repertoires. Participants will consider strategies to identify published works and be given a list of repertoire and resources to advance the performance of this body of works within classical piano studios and academic teaching environments.

Students and teachers are encouraged to submit one performance video of a piece by an African American composer. Please click on the following link for a list of recommended pieces: Piano Works by African American Composers.  We will accept five video performances on a first come, first serve basis. Please email Lizbeth Atkinson, liz.piano2@gmail.com with the performer name, title and length of your video by Tuesday, September 1, 2020. Videos must be completed and emailed to the same address by Tuesday, December 1, 2020. Music does not have to be memorized but must be high quality and performance ready. Dr. Wise will include the submitted videos in his lecture.


Raymond Wise, Ph. D., a native of Baltimore, Md., began his musical career at the age of three, singing gospel music with his family singing group “The Wise Singers.” Dr. Wise earned a B.F.A. in Music (Piano and Voice) from Denison University (Granville, Ohio). He did additional studies in Opera, Art, and German at the Institute for European Studies in Vienna, Austria, and in African-American History, Music, and Dance at San Francisco State University in San Francisco, California. He completed an apprenticeship in the business and recording of Gospel Music with the Walter Hawkins Corporation in Oakland, California. Dr. Wise earned a Masters in Music Education, Ohio Teacher’s Certification and Doctorate in Music Education from The Ohio State University for which his dissertation topic was “Defining African American Gospel Music by Tracing its Historical and Musical Development from 1900 to 2000.”

Dr. Wise currently serves on the faculty of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana where he serves as Professor of Practice in the African American African Diaspora Studies department and instructs courses in African American music. He serves as the Associate Director of the African American Arts Institute, an IU division devoted to the perpetuation and performance of African American music and art. Dr. Wise conducts the African American Choral Ensemble (https://aaads.indiana.edu/about/faculty/wise-raymond.html). He has also served on the faculties of The Ohio State University, Denison University and presently serves as an adjunct professor at Trinity Lutheran Seminary (Columbus, Ohio) and Trevecca College (Nashville Tennessee).

Dr. Wise is an ordained minister and has served as a church musician for more than 40 years. He has appeared on radio and television, recorded 25 albums, performed with opera singers, orchestras, dance companies, and professional recording groups. He has toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia as a singer, pianist, composer, lecturer, choreographer and conductor for festivals. Dr. Wise has performed at Carnegie Hall and other major halls throughout the world including the Kennedy Center and National Cathedral (Washington, DC.), the Apollo Theater (Harlem, New York), Berlin Philharmonic Hall (Berlin, Germany), Smetana Hall (Prague, Czech Republic), Shenzhen Grand Theater (Shenzhen, China), Chamsil Gymnasium Olympic Stadium (Seoul, Korea). Wise has penned more than 670 compositions. His works have been published by Hinshaw, GIA, Hal Leonard, Abingdon Press, and the United Methodist Publishing House. His Anthology of 21 Spirituals for the 21st Century has received national and international acclaim. More than 200 of his compositions are available through the Raymond Wise Choral music series.

Wise is the founder and President of Raise Productions’ Center for the Gospel Arts, a gospel music production and publishing company in Columbus, Ohio established to provide educational training and resources for gospel artists and the community. Wise has served as the artistic director of the various Raise performing ensembles since 1986 (www.raiseonline.com).

Dr. Wise served as the Co-Director and Director of the Hampton University Minister’s Conference Choir Directors’ and Organists’ Guild and Academy that provides intensive training in African American sacred music for church musicians. He has also served as a member of the academic faculty for the Gospel Music Workshop of America for 33 years. His knowledge of both the gospel and classical music genre has enabled him to serve as a consultant and clinician in academic and gospel music settings. Wise is known for helping choirs perform gospel music authentically. Dr. Wise served as the Ethnic and American music Repertoire and Standards Chair for the American Choral Director’s Association Central Division (ACDA).

Updated July 21, 2020