From left, pianist Karen Walwyn, U of A professor Er-Gene Kahng and host Scott Yoo look at archival documents in the Division of Special Collections of the University Libraries.
U of A Department of Music professor Er-Gene Kahng recently appeared on the "Florence Price and the American Migration" episode of PBS' show Now Hear This. While filming for the show began back in May 2021, the episode premiered on April 15.
At the beginning of his journey, Now Hear This host, Scott Yoo arrived in Arkansas in order to learn more about African American composer Florence Price. During this time he met with Kahng and pianist Karen Walwyn to discuss the works of Price stored in the special collections archives at the U of A.
Kahng, an advocate for Price's work throughout her career, said she was excited to have an opportunity to share Price's story and honor her legacy.
"Learning about [Price's] life and work has inspired me to find my own courage and inner strength," Kahng said. "The endeavor to preserve and record her works has motivated me to continually develop as an artist."
During the show there is discussion of the origins of Price's music and the history behind her pieces. Kahng recalls the filming process as being an intimate, yet casual and organic atmosphere that allowed her to share Price's story. Kahng said her favorite memory was when she was with Yoo and Walwyn as they unloaded the original manuscripts from the archives onto a viewing table.
"I was surprised we had to shoot this scene multiple times," Kahng said, "because it hadn't occurred to me how significant this scene would be to setting the stage for our filmed conversation."
The full episode of "Florence Price and the American Migration" on Now Hear This is available for streaming on the PBS website.
Britt Graves, administrative specialist III
Department of Music
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