Born in New Orleans, Hogan lived with five siblings and his parents, who gave their children a passion for music. He was an accomplished pianist by the age of nine. Here is a link to his Wikipedia page.
As with many spirituals, “Elijah Rock” was handed down through generations and was originally arranged by Jester Hairston in the 1960s. Jon Curtis sang it with Jester in the mid-1980s at a workshop in Medford, Oregon. Moses Hogan was a student of Hairston and released this arrangement in 1994.
Music Down in My Soul
Program notes from Opus 26, 2019:
Written to be performed at the sixth World Symposium for Choral Music, held in Minneapolis in 2002, the piece is dedicated to Mary Alice Stollak and the University of Michigan’s Children’s Choir, who were featured performers at that event. The piece was later re-done for mixed chorus and it is that version you will hear in today’s concert. It is an arrangement of the old African-American spiritual of the same name by the late Moses Hogan. An extraordinarily gifted arranger and conductor working out of New Orleans, Moses Hogan died from brain cancer in 2003, just short of his 45th birthday. The piece shows his typical trait of dividing vocal sections into multiple parts so that instead of the usual 4-part chorus, this piece at times requires seven-part harmony. Its joie de vivre and rhythmic vitality makes a fitting close to our program of music celebrating our love of singing.