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Thanksgiving service to feature music by pioneering African-American composer

The music of prominent African-American composer Florence Price will be the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving service at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 24 in the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo, 695 Elmwood Ave.

Along with Price’s "Communion Service in F Major," composed in 1936, this special musical service also will feature Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel’s 1833 cantata "For the Festival of St. Cecilia." Both performances will be regional premiers.

Price, who was born in Little Rock, Ark., in 1887, won the first prize in 1932 in the Wanamaker Foundation Awards for her "Symphony in E Minor." The symphony was performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1933, the first time a composition by an African-American woman was performed by a major U.S. orchestra. Price also composed choral works, chamber works, and many songs based on African-American melodies and spirituals.

Daniel Bassin, the church's music director, will conduct both pieces.

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