Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Byron Hanson on Everett Lee: 'Everett was in the room with his son and is therefore alive though nearly 100 years old!'

[Everett Lee (Photo from Marquette University Archives, taken by Carl Van Vechten]

Yesterday AfriClassical posted: “'On An Overgrown Path' Seeks Missing Details on African American Conductor & Violinist Everett Lee, born 1913, Wheeler, WV.” Today the search bore fruit when we learned from Byron Hanson, Archivist of Interlochen Center for the Arts, that Everett Lee is alive:

“Dear Mr. Zick,
Regarding Everett Lee, I had a call out of the blue from his son just a couple of weeks ago asking me to verify a concert Mr Lee conducted at Interlochen in 1974. Everett was in the room with his son and is therefore alive though nearly 100 years old!

“I am to fax him the program copy regarding the concert here and, while I will not volunteer the contact information without his permission, I will call his attention to Mr. Shingleton's article and query and suggest that there could be mutual value in collaboration in the matter of Everett Lee's life during the past 35 years.

“For the benefit of Mr. Shingleton, please forward the information that Everett Lee spent a week at Interlochen Arts Camp [then known as National Music Camp] approximately August 5-11, 1974. He was employed by the University of Michigan to conduct their All-State High School Orchestra on our campus. Normally a single conductor is engaged for this two-week event, but perhaps Lee was not available for more than the single week. His concert on August 11 presented the Mozart Overture to The Magic Flute, Bartok's Romanian Folk Dances and the Borodin Symphony No. 2.. How he came to be employed for this engagement I know not, but perhaps someone in the UM School of Music could find reference to the matter. I will be happy to help further, but this is all the information I have available at present.

Byron Hanson
Interlochen Center for the Arts”

We forwarded the above email to Bob Shingleton of the blog On an Overgrown Path, and promptly received this reply:

“Bill, that is quite wonderful news and I will share it with my readers. There is no problem with my contact details being shared and I would truly love to fill in those blank years in Everett Lee's biography. Thanks for your co-operation in this,

AfriClassical congratulates Bob Shingleton on his well-timed inquiry into the later career of the notable conductor Everett Lee, and thanks Byron Hanson for contributing the crucial information.

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