Thursday, February 16, 2012

Patrick D. McCoy sends link to on Camilla Williams: 'The journey of opera star began at VSU'

[Camilla Williams (Photo:]

Patrick D. McCoy sends a link to an article by Markus Schmidt at, from which we present an excerpt:
The journey of opera star began at VSUby markus schmidt (staff writer)

Published: February 16, 2012
Her final performance at Virginia State University on Feb. 14, 1993, marked the end of a chapter in the life of Camilla Williams that began in the 1930s, when she launched her career at what was then called Virginia State College to become the first African-American singer to receive a contract with a major national opera company.

Last month, Williams passed away at the age of 92, leaving behind a legacy that will inspire future generations and that began right here in Ettrick. "This school has immediately recognized a rare talent," VSU President Dr. Keith T. Miller said yesterday at a memorial service for Williams at Virginia Hall. "Virginia State University has nurtured this talent," Miller said.

Williams was born in 1919 in Danville into a family of amateur singers and musicians. One of her earliest inspirations was her grandfather, Alexander Carey, who had been a singer and choir leader.

Patrick D. McCoy
Contributor, Arts and Culture,

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