Leslie B. Dunner leads the New York Philharmonic in its multimedia March 2-4 program of works by Courtney Bryan, William Grant Still, and Adolphus Hailstork. Photo by Chris Lee.

“The New York Philharmonic’s program this week—titled ‘The March to Liberation’ and conducted by Leslie B. Dunner … had a streak of urgency and plenty of orchestral splendor,” writes Seth Colter Walls in Friday’s (3/3) New York Times. “A world premiere from Courtney Bryan, ‘Gathering Song,’ with text by Tazewell Thompson, opened the show; William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 2 followed; and, after intermission, a 45-minute, oratorio-style work by the veteran composer Adolphus Hailstork, ‘Done Made My Vow, A Ceremony.’ … A premiere from an up-and-comer, a venerable half-hour symphony, a dramatic finish—you could almost see the outlines of a typical subscription concert. Yet an all-Black roster of composers is hardly business as usual at a mainstream institution … William Grant Still’s 1937 symphony, subtitled ‘Song of a New Race,’ is the kind of chestnut we should be hearing American orchestras playing regularly. But his music remains a rarity. Hailstork is also too infrequently heard, despite a prolific, half-century career…. Bryan’s work proved thrilling in its polish and expressive range…. In Still’s Second Symphony … Dunner sagaciously managed the call-and-response qualities of the score … [In] Hailstork’s piece—structured as a Black American history lesson … Hailstork’s setting of various psalms, came across as grandly cosmic.”