Moses G. Hogan '79
Master of the American Spiritual
Pianist and conductor Moses G. Hogan '79, considered
a key figure in the choral ren-
aissance of the American spiritual, died February 12 at the age
of 45. He had been
hospitalized with a brain tumor since September.
Mr. Hogan studied with jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis
before winning a scholarship to Oberlin's Conservatory of Music.
He studied later at Julliard, then returned to his native New Orleans
to focus on his love of choral music.
Since 1980, he led a series of vocal groups--the New
World Ensemble, the Moses Hogan Chorale, and the Moses Hogan Singers,
which performed at such prestigious venues as the Kennedy Center
and the Sydney Opera House. The Moses Hogan Singers gave a Black
History Month concert in Oberlin in 2001.
Mr. Hogan was in international demand recently as
an arranger and composer. His own arrangements were performed by
the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, soprano Barbara Hendricks, and countertenor
Derek Lee Ragin, a 1980 graduate of Oberlin's Conservatory of Music.
Mr. Hogan arranged and performed compositions for the 1995 PBS documentary
The American Promise and its companion soundtrack, Voices.
In 2001, the Oxford University Press published his
Oxford Book of Spirituals, which has since become the U.S.
music division's top seller. At the time of his death, he was an
artist-in-residence at Dillard and Loyola universities, and had
received the Tribute to the Classical Arts Outstanding Contribution
Award for keeping the spiritual traditional alive and vital.
Survivors include his father and mother, a brother,
and four sisters.