Monday, July 12, 2010

Ruth Norman (b. 1927) Among African American Composers for Organ, Mickey Thomas Terry Says

[African-American Organ Music Anthology, Vol. 6, No. 10-586; Edited by Mickey Thomas Terry, Ph.D.; MorningStar Music Publishers]

“Black Women in Music,” © by Leo Adam Biga, “Originally published in the New Horizons,” was posted on July 11, 2010 at “Leo Adam Biga's Blog.” The people profiled have connections to Oklahoma, including Ruth Norman: “In a career spanning 60 years, Omaha native Ruth Norman has made a name for herself as an organist, pianist, composer, music educator and choral director.”
An earlier mention of Ruth Norman can be found in an essay by Mickey Thomas Terry, Ph.D., “African-American Organ Composers.” It was written for a broadcast of the American Public Media radio program “Pipedreams” dated Feb. 5, 2001, show #0106. Dr. Terry listed 11 composers:

William B. Cooper (1920-1993)
Evelyn Simpson Curenton (b. 1953)
Noel DaCosta (1929-2002)
Mark Fax (1911-1974)
Robert A. Harris (b. 1938)
David Hurd (b. 1950)
Ulysses Kay (1917-1995)
Thomas H. Kerr (1915-1988)
Undine Smith Moore (1905-1989)
Ruth Norman (b. 1927)
George Walker (b. 1922)

No such listing is likely to be exhaustive. For example, Prof. Adolphus C. Hailstork is a prominent African American composer for organ. In fact, the Cincinnati Chapter of the American Guild of Organists held an all-Hailstork Workshop on Feb. 20, 2010. Other Composers of African Descent include the Nigerian composer for organ, Godwin Sadoh, D.M.A.
[Adolphus C. Hailstork (b. 1941), Ulysses S. Kay (1917-1995) and George Walker (b. 1922) are profiled at]

Comment by email:
Thanks, Bill. I forwarded your email to Karl Bostic, who is the son of Ruth Norman. I am sure that he will be delighted. Karl is a great champion of Ruth's music. Mickey Thomas Terry

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