Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Dominique-René de Lerma: Music at Norfolk State University

Carl W. Haywood

Dominique-René de Lerma:

In 1954, the Supreme Court handed down a decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that had far-reaching implications.  It found that state laws establishing separate public schools for students, based on skin color, were in violation of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."  The decision was unanimous. 
It was a class action suit, begun in 1951 by 13 Topeka parents on behalf of their children, initiated by Oliver L. Brown, whose third-grade daughter had to travel a mile from her home to attend Monroe Elementary School, while its White counterpart was only blocks from her home.
The former governor of California, Earl Warren, had been named Chief Justice of the Supreme Court by President Eisenhower in 1953.  Thurgood Marshall argued the case for the NAACP (and in 1967 was appointed to the court).
Two governors won their place in history with their subsequent behavior.  Arkansas' Orval Faubus engaged his National Guard in 1957 to prevent Black students from entering the Little Rock Central High School, the troops then federalized by Eisenhower and joined by soldiers from Fort Campbell to enforce the Court's decision (and Charlie Mingus then added to the resistant governor's infamy with his Famous Faubus fables). In 1963, newly elected governor of Alabama personally blocked entrance to the University of Alabama to prevent compliance with the nine-year old law (hardly within the court-ordered  "deliberate speed") delivering his pledge, "segregation today, segregation tomorra, segregation foreva."  Again federal troops were needed, provided this time by President Kennedy.
A massive campaign was launched nationally to have Warren impeached, but he died in 1974. His opposition to Richard Nixon, his fellow Democrat, running for Vice-President to Eisenhower, won him a place on Nixon's enemy list.  Eisenhower was said to have remarked that Warren's appointment to the Supreme Court was "the biggest fool mistake I ever made", but Warren had to swear in Eisenhower for his second term as president in 1957, Nixon in 1969, and Kennedy in 1961.
With the order that schools be integrated, why were not the historically Black colleges and universities effected?  Because these were never segregated; they were open to anyone who might wish the perspective and social climate of the Black perspective.
Norfolk State University had began in 1935 with 85 students as a branch of Richmond's Virginia Union University.  It became independent in 1942 and two years later a branch of Petersburg's Virginia State College.  By 1950 the enrollment neared 1,000 students and in 1960 was granting bachelor degrees on its own.  In 1969, with 5,400 students, it was renamed Norfolk State College.  Graduate degrees were added the next year and in 1979 it became Norfolk State University.
As with any Black school, one may assume choral music was always a part of campus life.  Today this is guided by the music division's director, Carl W. Haywood, a doctoral graduate from the University of Southern California.  His music is included in the Episcopal hymnal, Life every voice, as well as those for the Lutherans (This far by faith), Methodists The faith we sing), and the Catholic's African American heritage hymnal, Worship in song of the Quakers, Sing the faith (Presbyterians), Total praise (Baptists), The faith we sing (Methodists), Sing the faith (Methodists), and The hymnal of the West Indies.  He is also composer of NSU's alma mater.  His performance repertoire includes The ordering of Moses (Dett), Haydn's Schöpfung and Lord Nelson Mass, Undine Smith Moore's Scenes from the life of a martyr, the Brahms Deutsches Requiem and Handel's Messiah.  He has been honored by NANM, Omega Psi Phi, the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, Hampton University, and by Southern Methodist University, which had earlier awarded him two master's degrees.
In 2007, the Norfolk State University Concert Choir, conducted by Dr. Haywood, issued a CD, Songs of our weary years; Beloved spirituals, with performances of
Burleigh, Harry TDeep river.
Carter, RolandI want to die easy.
Carter, RolandIn bright mansions above.
Carter, RolandPrecious Lord, by Thomas Dorsey.
Dandridge, Damon H. My God is a rock.
Dawson, William LOh, what a beautiful city.
de Paur, LeonardA city called  heaven.
Haywood, Carl WHail, hail, hail.
Haywood, Carl WJacob's ladder.
Haywood, Carl WThere is a balm.
Hogan, MosesElijah rock.
Hogan, MosesEv'ry time I feel the spirit.
Hogan, MosesEzekiel saw de wheel.
Hogan, MosesMy soul's been anchored in the Lord.
Johnson, HallWay over in Beulah land.
Moore, Undine SmithFare you well.
Ryder, Noah FAn' I cry.
Ryder, Noah F. Great day.
Wise, RaymondI'll stand.
In past years the NSU faculty included Adolphus Hailstork (readily a leading composer of his generation, who endowed a scholarship for the institution he served from 1977 to 2000), Noah Francis Ryder (1914-1962) and his wife, no less celebrated, Georgia A. Ryder (d. 2005).
Under Dr. Haywood's administration, the current music faculty includes Paul Adams (arranging and brass instruments), William Beathea (band and percussion), Geraldine T. Boone (composition and theory), Terry Butler (chorus and piano), Dr. Sam Dorsey (graduate coordinator, guitar, and music history), Frank T. Elliot (vocal jazz, humanities, and piano), Dr. Brigid Eversole (voice and theory), Gregory Gardiner (voice and music appreciation), Dr. Susan Ha (piano and theory), Margie B. Haynes (humanities and Black music), Dr. Patricia Saunders Nixon (voice), Dr. Matthew N. Russell (music education and music history), Dr. Stephanie K. Sanders (woodwinds), DeVaughan Q. Scott-Smith (woodwinds and music education), Gerald E. Thompson (music technology), Alan Reese (bass, theory, and humanities), Peter DuBeau (brass), Rogers Brown (music technology), and Eric Jackson (music technology).
A three-week summer music clinic is offered pre-college students who, in addition to participation in the keyboard, instrumental, and vocal ensembles, and vocal or instrumental lessons, secure training in music theory and literature, and technology, providing them with advanced standing when enrolling in the University.

Dominique-René de Lerma

Comment by email:
This is wonderful!  Thank you so much.  Personal regards.  [Carl W. Haywood]

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