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Maya Angelou

Born: 1928. Died: 2014. Lived in: United States

Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Annie Johnson, was an American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees. Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her life up to the age of 17 and brought her international recognition and acclaim.

She was respected as a spokesperson for black people and women, and her works have been considered a defense of black culture. Her works are widely used in schools and universities worldwide, although attempts have been made to ban her books from some U.S. libraries. Angelou's most celebrated works have been labeled as autobiographical fiction, but many critics consider them to be autobiographies. She made a deliberate attempt to challenge the common structure of the autobiography by critiquing, changing and expanding the genre. Her books center on themes such as racism, identity, family and travel.

Arrangements | Trax CDs

Trax Recordings

Displaying 1-4 of 4 items.

Maya Angelou : On the Pulse of Morning : Showtrax CD : 038081527932  : 00-46414

Maya Angelou : On the Pulse of Morning

In 1993, Maya Angelou recited this poem at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton, making her the first African American and the first female poet to deliver an inaugural recitation. Subsequently, Angelou's audio recording of "On the Pulse of Morning" won a Grammy Awardae for "Best Spoken Word" in 1994. Mark Hayes opens with a resounding "See Me Rise" choral fanfare before presenting the hope-filled latter half of the poem with rhythmic exuberance. This is the opening movement from the song cycle Like Dust I Rise.

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1317p | Showtrax CD | $29.95

Text by Maya Angelou : Caged Bird : Showtrax CD : 038081527970  : 00-46418

Text by Maya Angelou : Caged Bird

A folk-like setting of Maya Angelou's empowering poem, which compares a bird's longing to be liberated with that of all people. Hayes chooses a minor key with plenty of harmonic tension and a walking tempo that suggests the footsteps of those who have come before. The final Picardy third is the ultimate symbol of freedom. This is the second movement from the song cycle Like Dust I Rise.

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1318p | Showtrax CD | $29.95

Text by Maya Angelou : Equality : Showtrax CD : 038081528014  : 00-46422

Text by Maya Angelou : Equality

This contemporary gospel-style rouser denounces oppression and serves as a choral anthem for equal rights. A confident solo voice helps deliver a determined message in the unwavering words of Maya Angelou. If performing as a set, an alternate ending segues directly into the closing movement of "Like Dust I Rise." When performing separately, Mark Hayes includes an upward modulation that propels us to the final, most spirited refrain.

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1319p | Showtrax CD | $29.95

Text by Maya Angelou : Still I Rise : Showtrax CD : 038081528052  : 00-46426

Text by Maya Angelou : Still I Rise

Maya Angelou's most popular poem about triumph over adversity comes brilliantly to life in this vivid setting by Mark Hayes. The bright shuffle tempo and bluesy piano riffs perfectly embody Angelou's strength, courage, and determination to rise above. One of the most uplifting choral selections of our time! This is the final movement from the song cycle Like Dust I Rise.

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1320p | Showtrax CD | $29.95

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