Discovery Series: Wallace Cheatham - Entrada

December 8, 2021

Discovery Series: Wallace Cheatham

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Today, we’re celebrating the completed life of American composer Wallace Cheatham. Only two months ago, after displaying stroke symptoms and being hospitalized, Wallace Cheatham tested positive for a breakthrough case of COVID-19. After unsuccessful treatment, he passed away on October 22.

In January 2021 it was my honor to interview Wallace, and it’s my pleasure to feature his beautiful piano setting of Poor Mourner’s Got a Home in a new Entrada Masterclass.



Wallace McClain Cheatham was an internationally recognized composer, performing artist, and scholar. His compositions, covering a variety of genres and published by prominent houses, have been programmed at festivals, symposiums, conventions, concerts, and recitals. He has introduced major works of African-American composers to audiences in Wisconsin and Illinois. 

Dr. Cheatham’s research dealing with opera as it relates to the African-American experience has been published in internationally circulated journals of scholarship. His book, Dialogues On Opera and The African American Experience, is housed in libraries worldwide. Dr. Cheatham was a public school music teacher for more than three decades.

Some elements covered in the Masterclass on Poor Mourner’s Got a Home include imaginative pedaling in a pandiatonic work, vocal articulation, and creative solutions for smaller hands.


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