Carl MaultsBy

Abuelas, Nanas and Grandmamas Unsung (2013)

One of the first works commissioned by Quintet of the Americas for its Memory Project, the inspiration for this work was a series of interviews with the seniors of the Elmcor Senior Center, East Elmhurst, NY. To the composer and members of Quintet of the Americas, the seniors told their life memories and sang their songs. Hence, “Abuelas, Nanas and Grandmamas Unsung” is dedicated to these gracious ladies and the abuelas, nanas and grandmamas everywhere who go about their lives without notoriety or acclaim. – Carl MaultsBy, DFA 23 April 2013 Orlando, FL

The Journey (2004) for woodwind quintet, African and Latin percussion and trap drum

With funding from New York State Council on the Arts, Quintet of the Americas commissioned Dr. MaultsBy to write The Journey in 2005. This programmatic work is a thumbnail sketch of the development of African-American sacred music. The opening movement, “Procession from the Motherland Through the Middle Passage to the Americas,” sets a troubling mood from the opening sharp slap sound evocative of a gun shot, followed by thunder, and the sounds of African percussion. The movement features a xylimba, a cross between a kalimba and a xylophone played with mallets. The second movement, “Spiritual,” is a painful cry for release from slavery sung on the oboe. The third movement “Shout,” is in the style of gospel music.

I. Procession from the Motherland Through the Middle Passage to the Americas

II. Spiritual

III. Gospel

Kum-Ba-Ya Marcus (2012) for quintet and narrator

Inspired by his reading of the David Cronon book “Black Moses: The Story of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association,” Carl MaultsBy initially wrote in 1970 Kum-Ba-Ya, Marcus as a composition for chorus, symphonic wind ensemble and percussion.  However, in the large configuration, the dramatic work never received a performance. When the Quintet of the Americas requested of MaultsBy a composition based upon a literary source, the composer saw an opportunity both to recast his dramatic work for woodwind quintet and narrator as well as to provide audiences a glimpse of the charismatic and colorful Garvey, an early proponent of Pan-Africanism and Black Nationalism.

Garvey, a contemporary of W. E. B. Dubois (his rival) and a consultee of Booker T. Washington (the founder of the historically Black university Tuskegee Institute), was a predecessor of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Stokely Carmichael, Kwame Nkrumah and Sékou Turé in the mobilization of large numbers of Black people in the advocacy of equal rights, freedom and self determination. With the revised work, MaultsBy used the vantage point of history to examine some of the Garvey tenets and to contextualize them in the light of modern day Liberia, the Black Promise Land expounded by Garvey. For the latter, MaultsBy was influenced by his reading of the Helene Cooper autobiography “The House at Sugar Beach.”

The current version of “Kum-Ba-Ya, Marcus” begins with a Prologue that uses excerpts of Garvey’s 1925 “First Message to the Negroes of the World From Atlanta Prison.” Musically, the work incorporates Black folk idioms with a healthy dose of “call and response” and conservatory compositional techniques.

Garvey and thirteen others formed the first UNIA division outside Jamaica and began advancing ideas to promote social, political, and economic freedom for blacks. Garvey next set about the business of developing a program to improve the conditions of those of African ancestry “at home and abroad” under UNIA auspices.

During a trip to Jamaica in June 1965, Martin Luther King and his wife Coretta Scott King laid a wreath at the shrine of Marcus Garvey and. In a speech King told the audience that Garvey “was the first man of color to lead and develop a mass movement. He was the first man on a mass scale and level to give millions of Negroes a sense of dignity and destiny. And make the Negro feel he was somebody.”

Still Rockin’ In Jerusalem (1993)

Barbara Oldham, Quintet director met Carl MaultsBy when his vocal group, Rejoice Ensemble and Quintet of the Americas were both chosen to develop and present children’s programs for the Queens Symphony Orchestra. Carl decided to write Still Rockin’ In Jerusalem for us – a combination of salsa and gospel that would appeal to mixed audiences we were serving. The Quintet has performed this work many times in three decades to the delight of our audiences.   

Carl MaultsBy (b. 1947)

Composer, arranger, conductor, keyboardist, singer, executive artistic director of Rejoicensemble, and now, author of Playing Gospel Piano, Carl MaultsBy is a contemporary “renaissance artist” whose talents have been utilized both in the commercial media of musical theatre, film,

television, records, and in the cultural media as well. He earned the Masters of Music degree in Jazz/Commercial Composition from Manhattan School of Music, New York, N.Y., where he studied composition with Richard DeRosa and film scoring with Ed Green. MaultsBy earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics and Music from Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, IL. In addition, he attended Columbia University, New York where he studied composition with the late Vladamir Ussachevsky and electronic composition with Mario Davidovsky.

MaultsBy’s compositions include Intermezzo on “Victory” for brass quartet, timpani and organ; Toccata on “Spirit of the Living God” for organ; a string trio, “Trio de Gaudin Volage,” composed for the Trio de St. Georges; Rejoice!, a revue composed for the Lincoln Center Out-Of-Doors Concert by Rejoicensemble!; Marche for Three Trumpets and Organ; Pentecostal Mass, a concert mass written in Latin, Greek, French, Spanish and English; a sacred jazz suite, Matendo Matatu Ya Roho; a sacred jazz requiem entitled, A Sacred Jazz Requiem: Strong and Graceful Oaks, written for soprano, alto, tenor and baritone soloists, male chorus, piano, contra-bass, bassoon, soprano saxophone, and drums. Excerpts from his St. Mary Mass are published in Lift Every Voice and Sing II ù An African American Hymnal, and in Worship, Love and Praise. Other sacred works include Kyrie for tenor soloist, SATB chorus, 2 trumpets, strings and organ; Alleluias, Psalms and Chants for the Liturgical Church Years; a congregational mass, Mass for Grace; Fanfare and Alleluia for a Festal Morning scored for tenor soloist, SATB chorus, trumpet, flugelhorn, and 2 trombones; Christ, the Lord, Is Risen Indeed for tenor soloist, SSATTB chorus, 3 trumpets, and organ. In 1995, MaultsBy was commissioned to write Mountain Mover (scored for soprano solo, SSATB chorus and drums) for the Centennial Celebration of Jones High School, Orlando, FL. In the area of film, MaultsBy composed and performed the song “Blackbird Fly” for the Harry Belafonte movie Beat Street. He also arranged three other songs for the movie including “Us Girl’s” from the movie’s RIAA certified gold sound track album. MaultsBy received an American Song Festival Honorable Mention Award for his compositions, “Seasons of Love” and “Nothing Hurts More.” In the area of musical theater, he composed the original dance music for the Broadway musical production, It’s So Nice To Be Civilized, as well as for several other Off-Broadway productions including the composition “Night Riders” for the Amas Repertory Theatre production of Peanut Man. MaultsBy has arranged music for the touring acts of Cab Calloway’s “Cotton Club Revue,” Suzette Charles, The Williams Brothers, and Harry Belafonte. MaultsBy has collaborated as composer and arranger on records with such artists as Harry Belafonte, Vivian Reed, Friends of Distinction, Baby Washington, David Lampell, Pure Inergy, Weldon Irvine, and Zulema. His career in records began with his being signed as a songwriter to Donny Hathaway’s Don-Pow Publishing Company. It was the skills MaultsBy learned while working with Hathaway that led to his working as a staff artist and repertoire (a&r) producer for RCA Records, as well as recording with artists at Columbia Records, United Artists Records, Atlantic Records, Sesame Street Records, Polygram Records, Lawton Records, and Carrere Records. MaultsBy is the founder and executive artistic director of Rejoicensemble! Inc., a chamber vocal ensemble that sings music of the African Diaspora. In addition, he was the 2000-2001 Guest Director of the Dartmouth College Gospel Choir, Hanover, NH; and a guest conductor at the 2001 Association of Anglican Musicians Conference, New York, NY, USA. MaultsBy has also served as Choir Director and Organist, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Brooklyn, New York; Assistant Organist, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, Harlem, New York; Director of the Chancel Choir, Abyssinian Baptist Church, Harlem, New York, Director of Music and Organist at First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, New York and Director of the City College of New York Gospel Choir. He has played keyboards for the Broadway musicals: “Jelly’s Last Jam,” “High Rollers,” “Big Deal,” “It’s So Nice to be Civilized,” “Eubie,” “Timbuktu,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’, Bubbling Brown

Sugar, as well as for the National Companies of “Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope,” the play “Paul Robeson,” and numerous other Off-Broadway productions. He is currently the Director of Music Ministry at the Church of Saint Marks in Brooklyn.

Carl MaultsBy continues to write original compositions and arrange traditional music for performance by Rejoicensemble! and others. He is the author of “Playing Gospel Piano.”

For more information on Carl MaultsBy:

Composer contact

[email protected], cell 212-368-7117

3943 Thomas St., Orlando, FL 32805