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Valerie Gail Capers was born in New York City. She lost her sight at the age of six, and received her early education at the New York Institute for the Education of the Blind. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees at the Juilliard School of Music and is a classical pianist as well as a jazz pianist, composer, and arranger. Ms. Capers serves as Chairman of the Department of Music and Art at Bronx Community College of the City University of New York where she has been on the faculty since 1971.
Valerie Capers is displayed in Case 3, Adams Library Level 3.
Interview with Valerie Capers, 2021
Compositions & Further Readings via RIC
From Spirituals to Symphonies by Helen Walker-HillAfrican-American women composers remain largely unknown despite their important musical contributions. Active in the United States since the late-19th century, several gained national and international recognition during their lifetimes, only to have their work neglected after their deaths. From Spirituals to Symphonies is a unique, extensively researched examination of the history and scope of musical composition by African-American women, focusing on the implications of race, gender, and class for their musical creativity, and demonstrating how this important, underappreciated category of American art was shaped by the unique individual personalities of its participants. Their particular times, communities, families, racial heritages, economic circumstances, education, and musical training were all brought to bear on their music, and author Helen Walker-Hill challenges the assumption that black women's only important musical contributions have been in folk, jazz, and pop. With unprecedented detail, she charts the lives and the output of a group of artists whose work has gone unnoticed for too many years.