Florence Price's Symphony No. 3 was commissioned by the Works Progress Administration's Federal Music Project during the height of the Great Depression. It was first performed at the Detroit Institute of Arts on November 6, 1940, by the Detroit Civic Orchestra under the conductor Valter Poole.
The composition is Price's third symphony, following her Symphony in E minor—the first symphony by a black woman to be performed by a major American orchestra—and her lost Symphony No. 2.