Composition written by Albany High School alum plays at Biden inauguration

Albany County

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — On Wednesday, Adolphus Hailstork joined the ranks of the few select composers to have their work played at a presidential inauguration. His composition called “Fanfare on Amazing Grace” was transcribed from orchestra to band just for the event.

Performed by the President’s Own United States Marine Band, Hailstork’s “Fanfare on Amazing Grace” was played as the second piece of the inaugural prelude.

Hailstork graduated from Albany High School in 1959. He credits the school’s music program for his career today.

“It made my career, I mean, we had a wonderful music department at the Albany High School. The orchestra director, she knew I was interested in writing music. And I told her, and she said, ‘If you write it, we will play it. In fact, we’re even going to have you conduct it.’ And so that’s how I got started, and that’s one of the greatest pieces of teaching I’ve ever witnessed,” he said.

In a statement to NEWS10, City School District of Albany Superintendent Kaweeda G. Adams said the following regarding the honor:

Hailstork was inducted into the district’s Hall of Fame in 2010.

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