Xavier faculty member to highlight work of African-American composers


Dr. Aaron Mathews of Xavier University of Louisiana will deliver a lecture/recital on African-American composers at Northwestern State University on Thursday, Jan. 28. He will speak to and play for Northwestern State students at 5 p.m. and the general public at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Louisiana Piano Series International. Admission to the 5 p.m. event is free. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. lecture/recital are $15. The audience is limited to 72 at each lecture/recital with masks and social distancing required.

Northwestern State Assistant Professor of Piano Dr. John Price and Associate Professor of Piano Dr. Francis Yang are co-directors of the of the Louisiana Piano Series International.

Mathews is an assistant professor of piano and artist-in-residence at Xavier University. His former faculty positions were at Allen University and Viterbo University. Mathews has performed extensively as a soloist and collaborative pianist with vocalists, choral and chamber ensembles across the United States and abroad.

In his lecture-recitals and workshops, he curates and analyzes an extensive list of Black classical composers and their piano works to heighten the awareness of Black cultures, pedagogical styles and techniques, and to expand the standard repertoire of classical music.

Mathews has also served as a liturgical musician for over 20 years and has composed several sacred choral and piano works, including his upcoming “Mass for Sister Thea Bowman.”  He currently serves as the Project Director for “A New Pentecost:  A Liturgical Music Planning Resource for Black Catholic Parishes,” sponsored by the Office of Black Catholics in the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

Mathews earned his D.M.A. in Piano Pedagogy from the University of South Carolina, his M.M. in Piano Pedagogy from Georgia State University, and his B.A. in Piano Performance from Morehouse College.