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An important collection of works for piano by African-American women.

Jamaican-born Canadian pianist Maria Corley gave her first public performance at age eight. Since then, she has appeared on radio, television and concert stages in Canada, the United States, Central America, the Caribbean, Bermuda and Europe. She completed her education at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, where she studied with Alexandra Munn. Maria Corley received both Masters and Doctorate degrees in piano from the Juilliard School, where she was a student of Gyorgy Sandor. Aside from being an accomplished pianist, Corley is an author, whose first novel, Choices, was published in Kensington's Arabesque line. She is also a composer and arranger of music for both solo voice and chorus. Formerly an assistant professor at Florida A&M University, she currently serves as staff accompanist at Millersville University in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Of this CD she writes, "Ethnicity and gender are not determining factors of ability, and if not for the potent combination of sexism and racism, perhaps more of the music on this recording might be better known. Included are two award-winning works: Kinney's Mother's Sacrifice and Price's Sonata in e-minor. The other composers, Valerie Capers, Dorothy Rudd Moore, Undine Smith Moore and Zenobia Powell Perry, have all achieved long and successful careers in their chosen field of endeavor. In short, these are first and foremost fine pieces of music, regardless of the race and gender of their creators."
L. Viola Kinney, composer
Mother's Sacrifice
Maria Corley, piano

Valerie Capers, composer
Portraits in Jazz
Maria Corley, piano

Dorothy Rudd Moore, composer
A Little Whimsy
Maria Corley, piano

Undine Smith Moore, composer
Before I'd be a Slave
Maria Corley, piano

Florence Price, composer
Sonata in E Minor
Maria Corley, piano

Zenobia Powell Perry, composer
Maria Corley, piano

Margaret Bonds, composer
Troubled Water
Maria Corley, piano

Selections from Portraits in Jazz by Valerie Capers and performed by Maria Corley are featured in the 2012 film “Kebreeya’s Salad Days.” This documentary, part of the HBO series “The Weight of the Nation for Kids,” follows one high school student as she strives to improve eating habits and nutrition awareness for herself, her family, and her community.

"Soulscapes is a valuable contribution to the ever-growing body of recorded music of African-American composers. ...Brava!" (

"Corley's...choices are designed to show the talent of black women in America, and they do so in an effective and entertaining way." (American Record Guide)
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