Composition by ODU professor to be performed at Biden inauguration


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The ODU community might recognize familiar music during President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration Wednesday.

Fanfare on “Amazing Grace,” composed by ODU Eminent Scholar and professor emeritus of music Adolphus Hailstork, is scheduled to be performed as the second piece of the inaugural prelude.

According to, a website on African heritage in classical music, the performance will mark the second time that music by a contemporary African American composer has been selected to be part of the repertoire performed at a presidential inauguration.

It is scheduled to be performed by “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band.

Hailstork came to Old Dominion in 2000. He writes in a variety of forms and styles: symphonic works and tone poems for orchestra; two concertos (for piano and for violin) and numerous chamber works; duos for such combinations as horn and piano, clarinet and piano, flute and piano; numerous songs, including those for soprano, baritone, mezzosoprano, some with piano and others with orchestra or chamber group; band works and transcriptions; and many pieces for piano and pipe organ.

He retired Jan. 1.

ODU spokesperson Joe Garvey says Hailstork is currently working on a requiem cantata for George Floyd, “A Knee on the Neck,” one of many compositions that reflect his engagement with Black history. He expects to complete it in April.

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