NPR

Underground Railroad: A Conductor And Passengers Documented In Music

When it comes to the Underground Railroad, everyone knows Harriet Tubman. But a new oratorio sheds light on a different, key figure named William Still.
William Still (1821-1902), a conductor on the Underground Railroad who helped nearly 800 enslaved African Americans to freedom. Source: Naxos American Classics

Harriet Tubman may be the best-known conductor of the Underground Railroad, but a new album highlights another key figure: William Still, who helped nearly 800 enslaved African Americans escape to freedom in the years before the Civil War.

It's about time Still was more widely recognized for his efforts as an abolitionist, historian (as portrayed by ) and he's the central figure of , a new oratorio by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer based on Still's 1872 book . Kent Tritle deftly leads the Oratorio Society of New York Orchestra, Chorus and a dynamic cast of African American soloists.

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