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Melissa's Recommendations

This is a list of resources recommended by Dr. Melissa Morgan during her interview with Claire Latosinsky, and emailed later. The resources are listed alphabetically.

Access, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Cultural Organizations


Read the full eBook through University of Toronto Libraries (UTL).

Access, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Cultural Organizations: Insights from the Careers of Executive Opera Managers of Colour in the US by Antonio C. Cuyler, PhD is a collection of interviews with six Executive Opera Managers of colour in the US, analyzing the lack of diversity among opera executives, interrogating the impact of race on Arts Managers’ careers, and contemplating how opera management can become more diverse. 

Antonio C. Cuyler is Associate Professor of Arts Administration & Director of MA Program at Florida State University. He is a Diversity Scholar at the National Centre for Institutional Diversity.

The Best of Cesária Évora


Cesaria Evora's CD Café Atlantico, available at the Music Library

Known as the “barefoot diva,” Grammy Award-winning singer Cesária Évora (1941-2011) is famous for bringing morna, a blues style from her native Cape Verde to the international stage. Read more about this in Chaka V. Grier's review for NPR.

The Music Library does not have this particular recording, but does have two of her other albums: Anthology (2003) and Café Atlantico (1999). You can also learn about her in three biographies at the library.

Brainerd Blyden-Taylor


Recording by the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, conducted by Brainerd Blyden Taylor, Listen to the Lambs, available at the Music Library.

Trinidad-born Canadian conductor Brainerd Blyden-Taylor is the founder of the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, a Toronto-based choir and Canada’s first professional chamber choir dedicated to performing Afrocentric music. He has also conducted the Orpheus Choir in Toronto. Once a member of U of T’s Hart House Chorus, Blyden-Taylor has taught at the music faculty of both U of T and Queen’s University. He is sought nationally and internationally as a clinician, educator and adjudicator.

Blyden-Taylor was a guest conductor at the U of T Faculty of Music's concert "Christmas Gahu" (December 4, 2004). Listen to the full concert in the Music Library's Faculty Recordings database.

CeCe Winans


Cece Winans' CD Alone in His Presence, available at the Music Library.

American gospel singer Cece Winans has won 12 Grammy awards and 23 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards. She has also written three books.

You can listen to an interview with Winans from 2017 on NPR, entitled "'At This Age, This Is Who I Am': The Gospel According To CeCe Winans." Or, borrow her 1995 CD Alone in His Presence from the Music Library.

Fred Hammond

Fred Hammond is a gospel singer, bass guitar player, and producer, and a former member of the contemporary gospel group, Commissioned. He is a Grammy, Dove and Stellar award winner.

Hammond appears on the CD Choral Concert: Gospel Company, available through the Library. His piece "Hammond Medley" is on the CD Master's Voice: God will Make a Way.

Handel’s Messiah: A Soulful Celebration


Handel's Messiah: A Soulful Celebration, available at the Music Library.

1992 Grammy Award-winning album that reinterprets Handel’s Messiah oratorio through spirituals, blues, ragtime, big band, jazz fusion, R&B, and hip-hop. The album features various artists, including Dianne Reeves, Tramaine Hawkins, The Clark Sisters, Stevie Wonder, Take 6, and Tevin Campbell, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Daryl Coley, Chris Willis, Patti Austin, Howard Hewett, Sounds of Blackness, Commissioned, and Al Jarreau.

The Inner Game of Tennis

By former tennis coach Timothy Gallwey, The Inner Game of Tennis is a guide to improving performance through “relaxed awareness,” and overcoming nervousness, self-doubt and distractions. Borrow this book from OISE Library.

In Their Own Words

In Their Own Words: Slave Life and the Power of Spirituals by Eileen Guenther is a survey of the musical styles, performance practices, and characteristics of spirituals, interwoven with the history of slavery in America and the role of singing and religion in the lives of the enslaved. In their own Words supplies context for informed performance of spirituals.

Dr. Eileen Guenther is Professor of Church Music at Wesley Theological Seminary.

Jessye Norman


The Jessye Norman Collection, available at the Music Library.

American soprano Jessye Norman (1945-2019) was one of the greatest opera singers of all time. Renowned as an interpreter of German music, Norman began her operatic career at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. She went on to sing at opera houses around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera at Covent Garden, and La Scala. Norman was invited to sing at inaugural ceremonies for Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, and she sang the French National Anthem in Paris to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution.  She was a five-time Grammy Award winner, a recipient of the National Medal of the Arts and the Légion d'Honneur, and an Honorary Ambassador to the United Nations. She founded the Jessye Norman School of the Arts, a tuition-free performing-arts after-school program in her hometown Augusta.

Norman gave a masterclass at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music on February 15, 2019. You can listen to the complete masterclass in the Music Library's Faculty Recordings collection. See the program below.

Other library resources include a 1991 film about Jessye Norman, and various albums, including The Jessye Norman collection and The Very Best of Jessye Norman.

Also read about her anti-racism advocacy in this article from The Observer (April 16, 2015).

Kathleen Battle


Kathleen Battle's album So many stars, available at the Music Library.

Grammy, Emmy, Olivier and NAACP Image Award-winning American operatic soprano Kathleen Battle began her career as an elementary school teacher. She has performed at major opera houses around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, the Vienna State Opera, the English National Opera, and the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

Watch this documentary on rehearsals for a Baroque duet by Kathleen Battle and Winton Marsalis, and listen to her various albums at the Music Library, including At Carnegie Hall, Bel Canto, and So Many Stars.

Kirk Franklin

Kirk Franklin is an American choir director, gospel musician, singer, song writer and author, best known for his contemporary gospel style. He is a 16-time Grammy award winner. He has used his platform at awards events to speak out against police violence, particularly the murder of Atatiana Koquice Jefferson in 2019.

Check out his albums on the Library's Naxos Music Library and Naxos Music Library: Jazz subscriptions.

LaShun Pace

Tarrian LaShun Pace is a Grammy-nominated and Stellar Award-winning American gospel singer and songwriter. Read more about her in her biography on the Malaco Music Group label's website and on Oxford Music Online, and explore her discography.

Marian Anderson


Biography of Marian Anderson The Sound of Freedom by Raymond Arsenault, available at the Music Library.

American contralto Marian Anderson (1897-1993) was an opera and spiritual singer who performed across the United States and Europe in the early- and mid- 20th century. She defied the racial segregation of her time, performing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for an integrated crowd of over 75,000 people in 1939, and taking part in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Anderson was the first African American singer to perform at the Metropolitan Opera. She was a delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of the Arts, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Watch a biographical film on Anderson and read about her in The Voice that Challenged a Nation and The Sound of Freedom. Listen to her recordings through the Music Library, including the CD Spirituals, which features recordings from 1961 and 1964.

Moses Hogan


Recording by the Moses Hogan Singers, available through UTL's subscription to Naxos Music Library.

Hogan (1957-2003) was a pianist, conductor, and internationally renowned composer and arranger of choral music, particularly American spirituals. Born in New Orleans, he studied at Oberlin Conservatory, Juilliard, and in Vienna.

Check out the following resources from the Library:

The Preacher’s Wife

The Preacher's Wife is a 1996 film directed by Penny Marshall, starring Denzel Washington, Whitney Houston, and Courtney B. Vance. An angel is sent to earth to help a minister and his wife, and ends up causing more trouble. This film is not presently available through U of T Libraries.

Quincy Jones


Quincy Jones' autobiography, available at the Music Library.

Quincy Jones is an American musician, producer, songwriter, composer, and arranger. He has 28 Grammy awards and a Grammy Legend Award, as well as an inductee of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and a recipient of the National Medal of the Arts. Beginning as a jazz arranger, Jones has also composed pop and film music. Jones is also an activist, and was involved in the Civil Rights movement as a supporter of Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesse Jackson.

You can explore several of his recordings as well as biographies and autobiographies at the Music Library.

Rosephanye Powell

Dr. Rosephanye Dunn Powell is a choral composer, singer, researcher, and voice professor at Auburn University. Her works have been performed across America and internationally, including premiers at the Lincoln Center in New York.

Her composition The Word was God is available in the Music Library's performance collection, as well as recordings of her compositions.

Staying Composed

In Staying Composed: Overcoming Anxiety and Self-Doubt within a Creative Life, Dale Trumbore draws on personal experience and addresses obstacles to creative careers and supplies strategies for achieving a meaningful career in the arts.

Dale Trumbore is a Los-Angeles based composer and writer, whose works have been performed internationally.

Stevie Wonder


The Stevie Wonder Anthology, available at the Music Library.

Stevland Hardaway Morris (Stevie Wonder) is an American singer, songwriter, producer, and activist. Since his beginnings as a child prodigy, he has won 22 Grammy Awards. He is also responsible for the campaign to make Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a national holiday in America and is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

You can explore various recordings by and books about Stevie Wonder at the Music Library.

Sumi Jo


Sumi Jo's recording La Promessa, available at the Music Library.

South Korean operatic soprano Sumi Jo has performed at the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Opéra National de Paris, and Deutsche Oper Berlin, among others. She is famous for her interpretation of Bel Canto repertoire, and is a recipient of the Order of the Italian Star (OSI) from the Italian government.

Explore various recordings of her performances in the Music Library, including Un Ballo in MascheraLa PromessaPrayers, and Virtuoso Arias.

Take 6


Take 6 appears on Nnenna Freelon's album Soulcall, available at the Music Library.

Founded at a university in Alabama in 1980, the a capella group Take 6 (Claude McKnight, Mark Kibble, Joel Kibble, Dave Thomas, Alvin Chea and Khristian Dentley) has been awarded 10 Grammy Awards, 10 Dove Awards, 2 NAACP Image Awards, and a Soul Train Award.

The Voice


Bobby McFerrin's album The Voice, available through the UTL's subscription to Naxos Music Library Jazz.

This 1984 album by Bobby McFerrin, is the first by a jazz singer to be recorded without accompaniment, and exemplifies his unique approach to vocal technique.

Bobby McFerrin is an American folk-jazz singer perhaps most famous for his 1988 no.1 US pop hit, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” As it reads on McFerrin's website: “Listening to Bobby McFerrin sing may be hazardous to your preconceptions. Side effects may include unparalleled joy, a new perspective on creativity, rejection of the predictable, and a sudden, irreversible urge to lead a more spontaneous existence.”

Way Over in Beulah Lan’


Way Over in Beulah Lan', available at the Music Library.

Way Over in Beulah Lan’: Understanding and Performing the Negro Spiritual by Dr. André J. Thomas is targeted towards choral conductors and includes two sections: the first an exploration of the history and social role of the spiritual; the second a guide to interpretation in performance.

Recently retired from his role as Professor of Choral Music Education at Florida State University, Dr. André J. Thomas is an internationally acclaimed choral conductor and composer.

Dr. Melissa Morgan
Melissa's Recommendations