News of Note

Howard University Names College of Fine Arts After Iconic Alumnus Chadwick A. Boseman

May 26, 2021 | Written by Howard Newsroom Staff


Howard University Alumnus Chadwick BosemanWASHINGTON – Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick is pleased to announce that the newly reestablished College of Fine Arts will be named in honor of alumnus Chadwick Boseman, whose remarkable career as an actor, director, writer, and producer inspired millions around the world. The news comes just weeks after the announcement of alumna and actress Phylicia Rashad as dean of the college. During his tenure at Howard,Boseman led a student protest against the absorption of the College of Fine Arts into the College of Arts & Sciences. Long after graduating, he, along with other alumni, continued to engage in conversations with Howard University administration- their efforts were not in vain. Plans to re-establish the College of Fine Arts were announced in early 2018.

“When Chadwick Boseman returned to campus in 2018 to serve as our commencement speaker, he called Howard a magical place. During his visit, I announced our plans to reestablish the College of Fine Arts and he was filled with ideas and plans to support the effort in a powerful way,” said President Frederick. “Chadwick’s love for Howard University was sincere, and although he did not live to see those plans through to fruition, it is my honor to ensure his legacy lives on through the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts with the support of his wife and the Chadwick Boseman Foundation. I’m also elated to have the support of The Walt Disney Company’s Executive Chairman Bob Iger, who has graciously volunteered to lead the fundraising effort to build a state-of-the art facility and endowment for the college.”

“We would like to thank President Wayne A. I. Fredrick and the Howard University Board of Trustees for honoring our beloved Chad with the renaming of the reestablished College of Fine Arts. We would also like to thank Bob Iger for spearheading the fundraising efforts of this development,” said The Boseman Family.  “Chad fought to preserve the College of Fine Arts during his matriculation at Howard and remained dedicated to the fight throughout his career, and he would be overjoyed by this development. His time at Howard University helped shape both the man and the artist that he became, committed to truth, integrity, and a determination to transform the world through the power of storytelling. We are confident that under the dynamic leadership of his former professor and mentor the indomitable Phylicia Rashad that the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts will inspire artistic scholars for many generations.”

“I am extremely pleased that Howard University has chosen to honor my husband in this way and elated that Ms. Rashad has accepted the role as Dean,” said Boseman’s wife, Simone Ledward-Boseman. “Chad was a very proud Bison — both Howard and Ms. Rashad played integral roles in his journey as an artist. The re-establishment of the College of Fine Arts brings this part of his story full-circle and ensures that his legacy will continue to inspire young storytellers for years to come.”

A native of South Carolina, Boseman graduated from Howard University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in directing. During his tenure, he had the fortunate opportunity to be trained and mentored by Rashad, who recognized his talent early on. "Unrelenting in his pursuit of excellence, Chadwick was possessed with a passion for inquiry and a determination to tell stories - through acting, writing, and directing - that revealed the beauty and complexity of our human spirit," said Rashad, who is elated about the news of Boseman’s recognition. 

The Walt Disney Company’s Executive Chairman Robert A. Iger will personally lead fundraising efforts in honor of Boseman, a cherished member of the Disney/Marvel family, to build a new, state-of-the-art facility to house the college and an endowment for the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts. 

“Chadwick Boseman was an extraordinarily gifted, charismatic and kind-hearted person whose incredible talent and generous spirit were clearly reflected in his iconic performances, including as King T’Challa in ‘Black Panther,’ and in his tireless commitment to helping others. Through his tremendous example he inspired millions to overcome adversity, dream big and reach beyond the status quo, and this College named in his honor at his beloved Howard University will provide opportunities for future generations of artists to follow in his footsteps and pursue their dreams,” said Iger.

Boseman’s college classmate Ta-Nehisi Coates was a student writer for the Hilltop newspaper when Boseman and his fellow students orchestrated the protests to challenge the closing of the College of Fine Arts. Coates recalls how Howard nurtured Boseman’s sense of the power of the arts to affect change. Thus, he believes it’s only fitting that the University name the re-established program after one it’s most accomplished students.

“Naming the College of Fine Arts after Chad, I think it’s perfect and it’s exactly what should be done. His theater work, his movie work, his acting and his writing, this was a continuation of that activism. The arts for him were always about something more. We’ve had a long list of artists come out of Howard, but, in our generation, nobody can better articulate, by example or by artistry, what we learned at Howard and what the university gave to us. So, I think it’s just fitting – it makes me teary-eyed thinking about it– naming the College after our brother who never stopped fighting for it,” said Coates.

Today’s announcement kicks off a fundraising effort to build a new, state-of-the-art facility to become the home of the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts. The building will also house the Cathy Hughes School of Communications and the University’s television and radio stations, WHUT-TV and WHUR 96.3 FM, creating a dynamic, one-stop complex for the arts and journalism combined. To donate, please visit

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Howard University Announces Legendary Actress, Alumna Phylicia Rashad as Dean of the Newly Reestablished College of Fine Arts

May 12, 2021 | Written by Howard Newsroom Staff

Phylicia RashadWASHINGTON – Following a comprehensive national search, Howard University today proudly announces the appointment of Phylicia Rashad as dean of the recently reestablished College of Fine Arts, effective July 1, 2021. In this role, she will report to Provost Anthony K. Wutoh. An alumna of Howard University, Rashad graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s in fine arts.

“It is an honor to welcome one of Howard’s acclaimed daughters back home to Alma Mater. In this full circle moment, Ms. Phylicia Rashad will take the training and skills that she honed as a student at Howard and exuded in an outstanding performing career, and she will share those pearls of wisdom with the next generation of students in the College of Fine Arts. Her passion for the arts and student success makes her a perfect fit for this role,” said Wutoh.

An accomplished actor and stage director, Rashad became a household name when she portrayed Claire Huxtable on “The Cosby Show,” a character whose enduring appeal has earned her numerous honors and awards for over two decades. More recent roles in television and film include appearances as Carol on NBC’s “This Is Us;” Diana Dubois on the Fox TV series “Empire;” Dr. Woods-Trap in Tarrell Alvin McCraney’s Peabody Award-winning series “David Makes Man” on the OWN Network; Libba Gardner in Pixar’s Academy Award-winning animated feature, “Soul;” Grandmother Journey in the Netflix holiday musical “Jingle Jangle;” and Dr. Jones in “Between the World and Me” on HBO Max.

Highlights of an extensive career onstage include performances as Lena Younger in Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun;” Aunt Ester in August Wilson’s “Gem of the Ocean;” The Witch in Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods;” Violet Weston in Tracey Letts’ “August Osage County;” and Shelah in Tarrell Alvin McCraney’s “Head of Passes.

“It is a privilege to serve in this capacity and to work with the Howard University administration, faculty and students in reestablishing the College of Fine Arts,” said Rashad.

Rashad is one of many Howard University alumni who have transformed the arts and entertainment industry through legendary careers on screen and behind the scenes, in front of the microphone and from within the boardroom. Howard’s dedication to cultivating talented artists has had a deep and profound impact on historical and contemporary culture.

Rashad has served as guest lecturer and adjunct faculty member, conducting master’s-level classes at many colleges, universities and arts organizations, including Howard University, New York University, Vassar College, Carnegie Mellon, Wayne State University, Juilliard, The Black Arts Institute of the Stella Adler Studio of Acting and the prestigious Ten Chimneys Foundation established at the Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne Estate. She also holds the distinction of being the first recipient of the Denzel Washington Chair in Theater at Fordham University.

She made her critically acclaimed directorial debut at the Seattle Repertory Theater with August Wilson’s “Gem of the Ocean.” She has also directed Stephen Adly Guirgis’ “Our Lady of 121st Street” at the Signature Theatre; “The Roommate” at Steppenwolf Theatre; “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” (winner of the 2014 NAACP Theatre Award for best director) at the Mark Taper Forum; “Immediate Family” at the Taper and Goodman Theatre; “Fences” at the Long Wharf Theatre and McCarter Theatre; “A Raisin in the Sun” at Ebony Repertory Theatre, Kirk Douglas Theatre and Westport Country Playhouse; and “Four Little Girls” at the Kennedy Center.

“I can think of no individual better suited to take on this role than Ms. Phylicia Rashad,” said Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., MBA. “As we reintroduce our campus community and the world at large to Howard’s College of Fine Arts, the dean will play an instrumental role in ensuring an auspicious beginning for this reestablished institution. Given Ms. Rashad’s reputation as well as her capabilities and impressive list of accomplishments, she will undoubtedly empower the college to transcend even our incredibly high expectations. Under her leadership, Howard will continue to inspire and cultivate the artists and leaders who will shape our niche and national cultures for generations to come.”

Rashad has received the Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, BET Honors Theatrical Arts Award, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre’s Spirit of Shakespeare Award, the inaugural Legacy Award of the Ruben Santiago Hudson Fine Arts Learning Center, and the Lucille Lortel Award. In 2016, Rashad was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. Among the other awards that decorate her walls and shelves are the 2018 Will Award from Washington D.C.’s Shakespeare Theatre Company, the 2014 Mosaic Woman Legend Award of Diversity Woman Magazine, the Texas Medal of Arts, the National Council of Negro Women’s Dorothy L. Height Dreammaker Award, People’s Choice Awards, NAACP Image Awards, AFTRA’s AMEE Award for Excellence in Entertainment, New York Women in Film and Television’s Muse Award for Outstanding Vision and Achievement, Dallas Women in Film Topaz Award, and the Pan African Film Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Rashad also serves on a number of prestigious boards, including Brainerd Institute Heritage (which is steering the restoration of Kumler Hall at the historic site of Brainerd Institute in Chester, South Carolina) and DADA (the Debbie Allen Dance Academy). Since 2017, she has been the brand ambassador of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.

Her commitment to excellence in the performing arts and scholarship has been recognized by the numerous colleges and universities that have presented her with honorary doctorates, including Howard University, Spelman College, the University of South Carolina at Columbia, Tuskegee University, Brown University, Bennett College, St. Augustine College, Providence College, Barber Scotia College, Clark Atlanta University, Morris Brown College, Carnegie Mellon University and Fordham University.

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Showtime Marching Band To Escort Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris for Inauguration 

January 18, 2021 | Written by Imani Pope-Johns

WASHINGTON – Howard University is proud to announce the Showtime Marching Band will escort Vice President Kamala Harris at the 59th presidential inauguration on Jan. 20. They will perform a special drum cadence for the parade.

“It is our esteemed honor to be involved in the historic inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris,” said Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick. “Throughout her career, the vice president-elect has carried her Howard education with her, ensuring that she adhere to truth and service and inspiring her to achieve unprecedented levels of excellence. It is perfectly fitting that the Showtime Marching Band, the ensemble that captures and reverberates the heartbeat of our institution, should accompany her on this last leg of her journey to the White House. It was that steady pulse of her Alma Mater’s legacy that propelled her forward, and it is that same rhythm that will carry her onward as she undoubtedly will become one of the most influential vice presidents in the history of our nation.”

Showtime Band will have the drumline, the Flashy Flag Squad, and Ooh La La dancers in the inauguration parade, representing less than one-third of the band for safety precautions.

“We are proud to unite safely as a band to represent Howard University, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and all HBCUs across the country,” said Kelvin Washington, the Howard University band director, who has been working on the perfect song for the parade since Harris was selected to join President-elect Joe Biden on the presidential ticket in August 2020. “It's a very gracious opportunity for us, and we’re very thankful for it.”

Although there’s minimal band participation, Washington is prepared because he has participated in two inauguration parades prior. “I had the pleasure to perform as a student at Southern University in 1980 for former President Ronald Reagan’s inauguration, then as associate director of the Howard University Band for former President Barack Obama and now this one would be my third,” said Washington.

This is the first time many of the band students will participate in an inauguration, and although they haven’t been together since the pandemic began, Courtney Gilliam of Dallas, Texas, a women studies graduate student and co-captain of the Flashy Flag Squad, believes they are ready.

“I think the amendments to this year’s inaugural events are appropriate for the times we are experiencing. I’ve been eager for months to see how Howard University would be included in this momentous inauguration, and it’s great to know that we’re able to safely execute traditional events and be represented as the marching band and musical heart of the vice president’s Alma Mater. As the first of many more progressive elections/inaugurations for women, it feels euphoric to be involved. I’m beyond elated to be able to participate with the Flashy Flag Squad, Ooh La La Dancers and percussion section,” said Gilliam. “Our squad has been conditioning, learning tosses and practicing dances to band music since last summer at our respective homes. So, finally hearing the heartbeat of the band, even in this small degree, is powerful for the entire band, and I’m sure the student body will be excited to see their peers help usher in our fellow Bison.”


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Afro Blue Celebrates Donny Hathaway's "This Christmas"

"This Christmas" Afro Blue Single Cover Art










12/09/2020  Afro Blue, Howard University’s premier vocal jazz ensemble, honors the legacy of Donny Hathaway by releasing his classic song “This Christmas” on December 9, 2020 – 50 years from the initial release.

The connection of Howard University to Donny Hathaway stems from his time as a student in The Department of Music on a Fine Arts scholarship in the 1960’s, where he would form many of the friendships that would lead to the greatest collaborations of his life:  Leroy Hutson (co-writer of “The Ghetto” and other hits), Roberta Flack (his long-time recording partner of hits such as “Where is the Love”) and of course, his wife Eulaulah Hathaway.

In keeping with their signature “vocal big band” sound, Afro Blue sings a fun, swingin’ a cappella version that is sure to please. With the clever use of Hathaway’s instrumental riff’s as backgrounds, walking bass line, vocal percussion, added soli section and vocal improvisations from stellar soloists Tyree Austin and Ekep Nkwelle, Afro Blue offers a unique twist to this favorite Christmas classic.

Prof. Connaitre Miller is the director of Afro Blue. The single is available on all digital platforms.

Watch the video.

Afro Blue Competes to Benefit Local Charity

9/14/2020; rev 9/28/20  Howard University’s Afro Blue has been selected by UpStaged™ Entertainment Group to compete in “UpStagedAID: One World, Every Student Voice”—the biggest international college a cappella championship in history and the first ever virtual college championship of its kind. Watch a 30-second video about UpStaged here.

Over 160 leading college a cappella groups from around the world applied for the competition, and Howard University’s Afro Blue was one of only 32 U.S. groups selected. All teams have been seeded into a 32-team bracket by region (modeled after NCAA’s March Madness). Howard University’s Afro Blue is the #1 seed in the Mid-Atlantic Region bracket. 

The competition kicks off on Monday, September 21, and is being hosted on Winning teams will receive $10,000+ in cash prizes and donations to the social justice charities of their choice. 

Here’s the best part: You can help Howard University’s Afro Blue become the first ever UpStaged NCPA “People’s Choice” College A Cappella Champion!

Winners are determined by a combination of fan voting rounds and celebrity judging rounds. Since fan voting will determine, in large part, how far each group goes in the competition, university and alumni support is crucial. I strongly encourage you to share info about the competition, and how to vote, far and wide with your alumni base. 

TO VOTE: WATCH Howard University’s Afro Blue MUSIC VIDEO and VOTE FOR THEM between SEPTEMBER 21 – OCTOBER 2, 2020.

If you would like to share this information on social media to encourage alumni, students and other fans to vote for Howard University’s Afro Blue, please tag @UpStagedNCPA and use the hashtags #NCPAchamps, #UpstagedU and #NCPAacappella.

Professors Eichelberger and Franke Appear in Dvorak Documentary

9/14/2020  An important new documentary featuring members of the Department of Music, Dvorak's "New World" Symphony: A Lens on the American Experience of Racewas produced by the PostClassical Ensemble and is freely available on YouTube. Howard's own Professor Kehembe Eichelberger (voice) and Dr. Matthew Franke (music history), along with other scholars and performers, provide commentary in the film. 

The film examines Antonin Dvorak's Symphony no. 9 (1893) in light of Dvorak's interest in and support of African American and Native American music, and his prediction that Black Americans would define America's music in the years to come--a promise that has proved true through the global popularity of jazz, R&B, hip-hop, etc. The producers of the film summarize the key issues this way:

Why did American classical music “stay white”? What was the credibility of Dvorak’s prophecy? How did it infiltrate his own New World Symphony? Was Dvorak guilty of “cultural appropriation”? These are some of the questions posed by our film, which presents Antonin Dvorak as a humanitarian visionary.

There will be a live chat about the film on Zoom on September 23, 2020 from 6:30 - 8pm.

Classical Voice Student Receives Scholarship

9/12/2020  [coming soon]

'Everybody Wear They Mask'


8/19/2020  Jazz Voice alumna Christie Dashiel, B.M. '10 (Jazz Studies), appeared on ABC's Good Morning America in a music piece by Wynton Marsalis entitled "Everybody Wear They Mask."

Marsalis and his 15-piece orchestra came together virtually to create this song to urge people to stay safe and wear masks.

Watch the video.

UC Resonance Journal Publishes Article by Jessica Boykin-Settles

Resonance magazine cover

7/27/2020  Resonance: The Journal of Sound and Culture, published by the University of California Press, has published an article by Jazz Voice faculty member Jessica Boykin-Settles.  The article, entitled "Two Heads Are Better Than One: The Artistry of Shirley Horn," is a scholarly dissertation on the life and artistry of jazz vocalist and pianist Shirley Horn.

Born in Washington, DC, Horn was one of the most singular and respected musicians on the jazz scene during a career that spanned more than five decades. Despite minimal accolades, Horn’s contributions to the art form are rarely rivaled. She was a virtuoso pianist and a genius song stylist.

Through recorded performances that best exhibit vocal phrasing, chord voicings, and comping patterns in the jazz tradition, Professor Settles analyzes Horn’s piano and vocal performance in order to demonstrate why her genius should occupy the top echelons of revered American musicians this country has ever produced. Jazz and classical musicians whom Horn cited as her biggest influences are discussed to demonstrate how she absorbed and expertly integrated chosen elements of those individual styles into her own performance to create a distinctive sound and a unique approach to interpreting standard jazz repertoire. Through biographical information, Horn’s career is examined through a lens of intersectionality to discover how social categorizations such as race, class, and gender might have played a part in informing her musical and professional choices.

Read the article.

New York's Lincoln Center Honors Opera Star Jessye Norman

Jessye Norman in Performance

4/24/2020  Lincoln Center will honor voice alumna Jessye Norman, B.M. '67 Classical Voice, with the broadcast of a rare performance that hasn't been heard in over 20 years.

The two-hour program, “A Celebration of Johannes Brahms with Jessye Norman,” will air at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 28, simultaneously on the site and on the Center’s Facebook page.

You will be able to find it on after the airing.

The program, which originally aired on May 4, 1997, features soprano Norman and violinist Pinchas Zukerman performing Brahms’ “Quintet for Strings, Op. 111,” “Two Songs for Soprano, Viola, and Piano, Op. 91″ and “Quintet for Piano and Strings, Op. 34.”

Four-time Grammy Award-winner Norman died September 30, 2019, at age 74. Her many honors included the National Medal of Arts and the Kennedy Center Honor.

Portions excerpted from The Augusta ChronicleRead the full article.

Afro Blue Releases New Video Retrospective

Graphic Ad for "A Year in the Life" Video

4/24/2020  Afro Blue, Howard University's premier jazz vocal ensemble, has released a retrospective of it's activities during the 2018-2019 school year.  Entitled Afro Blue: A Year In The Life, it recounts the group's journey from initial auditions through the end-of-the-year recording session.

The documentary was produced by alumnus and now film director T.L. Benton, B.M. '19 Composition, under his new company, Mecca Filmworks LLC.

The video follows through from auditions and rehearsals to live concerts and the final studio recording session of the year.

Watch the new video here (Time 28:12).

Afro Blue Releases New CD and Music Video

Afro Blue - CD Cover - We Shall Overcome

4/6/2020  Afro Blue, Howard University's premier jazz vocal ensemble, has been busy recording a new CD and companion music video. The CD, We Shall Overcome, will be available after Easter. In the meantime, you can hear audio samples of all the tracks here.

The accompanying music video is a sample of a larger video project to be released soon.  It captures a studio recording of W.C. Handy's St. Louis Blues. T.L. Benton, B.M. '19 Composition, and his company, Mecca Filmworks LLC, produced the video.

In addition to the full Afro Blue ensemble, the video features Afro Blue soloists Ekep Nkwelle and Indigo Passariello, as well as faculty pianist Cyrus Chestnut; Eliot Seppa, B.M. '14 Jazz Studies, bass; and Kelton Norris, drums. Connaitre Miller, Afro Blue's director, arranged and led the sessions. WATCH NOW.

Chorale Joins in Gershwin Prize Gala Honoring Garth Brooks

Picture of Chorale at GarthBrooksGala2020

4/1/2020  The Howard University Chorale, conducted by Eric O. Poole, joined Keith Urban in performance at DAR Constitution Hall on March 4th as the Library of Congress honored Garth Brooks with the 2020 Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The invitation-only audience enthusiastically acknowledged Mr. Urban and the Chorale in their performance of Brooks' 1992 Country Gospel hit We Shall Be Free. The selection heralds man’s desire for freedom from tyranny and hate, a much needed and poignant message for today.

Enjoy the all-star tribute, with performances by Garth Brooks, as well as Trisha Yearwood, Keith Urban, Chris Stapleton, Keb' Mo', Lee Brice, and the Howard University Chorale — hosted by Jay Leno.

PBS | Aired: 03/29/20 | Expires: 04/26/20 | Rating: TV-PG | WATCH NOW

Freshman Bria Whitaker Receives 2020 Zildjian Scholarship

Bria Shauntelle Whitaker with her 2020 Zildjian Award

3/30/2020  Ms. Bria Shauntelle Whitaker, a freshman music business major from Bolingbrook, Illinois, has been selected as a 2020 Avedis Zildjian Percussion Scholar. The Zildjian Company annually selects 25 outstanding university percussionists for the award. Howard University music students have been recipients since 2002.

Congratulations to Bria, her percussion instructor, Mr. William Richards, and her academic advisor, Professor Valarie Eichelberger.

Faculty Pianist Natalia Kazaryan Plays Smithsonian

Photo of Natalia Kazaryan

On Sunday, August 11, 2019, 3 – 4:30 PM, critically acclaimed pianist Natalia Kazaryan will perform at the summer Steinway Series at the Smithsonian American Art Museum ("SAAM").  Ms Kazaryan was a student at the Julliard School and is now on the adjunct piano faculty at Howard University.  She has received top prizes from the Eastman Young Artists International, Zosciuszko Foundation Chopin, and the New York piano competitions, and a "Sobresaliente" Award from Queen Sophia of Spain. Natalia will be focusing on all women composers for her performance.  Kazaryan’s 2019 performance at SAAM was praised as “one of the best concerts of summer 2019” by The Washington Post.

Note: Ms Kazaryan's May 10, 2020 back-by-popular-demand SAAM concert was canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

College of Fine Arts Reinstatement Postponed to Mid-2020

8/6/2019  The University has revised the timeline for transforming the departments of Art, Theatre and Music, currently comprising The Division of Fine Arts in the College of Arts and Sciences, into a new College of Fine Arts. The change, which was originally scheduled to take placed on August 15, 2019, is now scheduled for Fall 2020. 

Under the new plan, the dean of the College of Fine Arts will report directly to the Provost. Art, Theatre and Music will continue to function as individual departments in the new college.

Liana Valente Receives Summer Faculty Research Fellowship

Headshot of Liana Valente

7/1/2019  Dr. Liana Valente, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Classical Voice, has been awarded a 2019 Summer Faculty Research Fellowship by the Howard University Office of Research. With support from this fellowship, Dr. Valente will spend part of her time during the next year writing a comprehensive introductory musicianship textbook for musical theater students. Once completed, this new text will be an invaluable resource for students preparing for a professional career on the musical theater 

Blues Alley Books HU Jazz Faculty and Alumni

6/28/2019  Blues Alley, "Washington's Premier Jazz Supper Club," has booked several Department of Music alumni as featured artists this summer. The historic jazz venue was founded in 1965 and has operated continuously since that time as one of the Nation's top jazz spots. It's location in a 19th-century carriage house—in an alley in Georgetownnow named after the club—adds to the jazz mystique and allure. Everyone who's been anyone in the jazz scene, from Earl "Fatha" Hines, Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah Vaughan to Ramsey Lewis, McCoy Tyner and Chick Corea, has played there.

Blues Alley storefront

This summer's Howard University jazz artists will include

May 26 - Akua Allrich, B.M.'00 Jazz Studies, Jazz Voice
June 5 - AFI SoulVoice
June 17 - The Washington National Cathedral Band (several HU music alums are members)
June 20 - Integriti Reeves, M.M.'14 Jazz Studies, Jazz Voice
June 21-22 - Wallace Roney, B.M.'93 Jazz StudiesTrumpet
July 1 - Paul Carr, B.M.'85 Jazz Studies, Tenor Saxophone
July 15 - Brian Settles, M.M.'08 Jazz Studies, Saxophone & Jessica Boykin-Settles, M.M.'06 Jazz Studies, and HU Assistant Professor, Jazz Voice - Quintet
August 1-4 -
 Marcus Johnson, B.M.'93 Jazz Studies, Keyboards
August 12 - Imani-Grace Cooper, B.M.'15 Jazz Studies, Jazz Voice 
August 22-25 -  Cyrus Chestnut, Lecturer in Jazz Piano & Improvisation, Piano Trio

Blues Alley
1073-Rear Wisconsin Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 337-4141

Sets at 8 & 10 PM. 1/2-Price Admission for HU Students with ID Sunday - Thursday 10pm shows ONLY.

Alumnus Harold Wheeler Wins Lifetime Achievement TONY Award

Picture of Harold Wheeler accepting 2019 TONY Award

6/9/2019  On Sunday night, the Tony Awards honored legendary orchestrator and arranger Harold Wheeler (B.M.'64) with one of three 2019 Lifetime Achievement Awards. Wheeler has written the music for 30 Broadway shows, and is currently represented on Broadway with AIN'T TOO PROUD - THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE TEMPTATIONS.

Watch Howard Wheeler accept the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Rolanda Carter Attends NYU Summer Songwriting Workshop

5/31/2019  Rolanda Carter has been accepted into the New York University Summer Songwriting Workshop and awarded a scholarship.

Roland is a third-year undergraduate student majoring in Composition. During the school year, she attends songwriting workshops conducted by Dr. Anthony Randolph, chair of the Department of Music, who encouraged her to apply to the NYU program.

HUJE Releases New CD


May 2019  The Howard University Jazz Ensemble (HUJE), under the direction of Fred Irby, III, released its annual CD at the end of April. As usual, the recording was recorded at Bias Recording Studios in Silver Spring, MD at the end of the previous academic year and is simply titled "HUJE 2018."

Read a full review by Jack Bowers on "All About Jazz.

Visit the new HUJE website.

For copies of the CD, go to All About or contact Fred Irby, III at

HU Celebrates Jazz Appreciation Month 2019

Howard U Jazz Week 2019 Sidebar CalendarJoin us in April as we celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month 2019. Many events are free and open to the public!

On April 16, NEA Jazz Master Abdullah Ibrahim will conduct a masterclass. Other events feature our jazz ensembles and jazz choirs, as well as special lecture presentations about jazz music and musicians.

Click on the program at right to view and print the full schedule.

Arthur C. Dawkins, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Introduces Jazz Oral History Project

Photo of Arthur C. Dawkins, Ph.D.On March 7, 2019, Dr. Arthur Dawkins, Professor Emeritus, spoke to students during the Department's weekly recital period. His audio-visual presentation introduced his Jazz Oral History Project, now available in the Moorland-Spingarn Library Collection at

The Project comprises more than 290 hours of audio and video recordings of interviews conducted over a number of years by Dr. Dawkins and two others. The subjects are 15 of the major architects of modern jazz, including Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey and Max Roach.

Dr. Dawkins also discussed the evolution of Jazz Education at Howard University. 

Cyrus Chestnut Releases New CD

8/31/2018  Professor Cyrus Chestnut, Master Instructor in Jazz Piano, has released a new CD entitled "Kaleidoscope" that features his trio with Eric Wheeler on bass and Chris Beck on drums.

Chestnut CD titled "Kaleidoscope"The CD is on the HighNote label, and features music other than the eloquent staterments of traditional jazz standards that Cyrus is known for. Here he chooses to explore works by French Impressionist composers Claude Debussy (Golliwog's Cakewalk, Jimbo's Lullaby), Maurice Ravel (Entre cloches) and Eric Satie (Gymnopedie No. 1, Son binocle, Gnossienne No. 1). All Cyrus's tone, but very different structures.

Of course, the classic trio sound he is best known for is present in the standard "Darn that Dream," and there is his tone in the humn "Lord I Want To Be A Crhistrian" and two Cyrus originals, "Father Tiime" and "Prayer for Claudine."

HighNote HCD 1737. 

Jazz Voice Alum Maya Cunningham Launches New Radio Show

6/29/2018  Maya Cunningham (B.M. '01 Jazz Studies), a former Fulbright Fellowship recipient, will be launching her own radio show. "Music In Culture: Sounds of the Black Experience" will premiere this Sunday, July 1, 2018 at 3 PM on WOWD 94.3-FM in Takoma Park, MD. Maya's show will use ethnomusicology to explore the many genres of Black music from all over the world, from African American jazz and blues to Afro Brazilian Samba Schools and South African protest anthems.

Music In Culture will feature interviews with local and international musicians, artists and activists from Africa and the Diaspora, sound documentaries and, of course, the music.

Beginning July 1, Music in Culture's 'Summer in South Africa' series will focus on the rich jazz tradition that is part of South African protest music:

     • Hugh Masekela, a Jazz Warrior (July 1)

     • Music, Marriages and the Transnational Conversation Between Black America and South Africa (August 5)

     • Winston Ngozi and the Capetown Coltrane Lineage (September 2)

Tune in every first Sunday at 3:00 PM. If you miss the live broadcast, you will be able to find a recording of the program online at Ethnomusicology in Action, a website launched by Maya in 2017.

Faculty and Alums Again Tapped for OSCARS

Feb 2017  For the second year in a row, Howard University Department of Music alumnus Harold Wheeler, B.M.'64, served as Music Director for the Academy Awards (OSCARS).

Professor Fred Irby III , trumpet, and Michael Bearden, B.M.Ed.'86, keyboardist, were also hired to perform for the second year in a row.

As reported by, the 89th Annual Academy Awards telecast is one to be remembered — and not just for the Best Picture snafu. In the Oscar’s 64 years of being televised, every single person who worked on the production has been listed in the end credits — that is, except for musicians. That changed this year, when the names of all the live orchestra musicians were listed on the end crawl. Read more and view photos.

Charlotte Holloman Memorabilia on Display at MLK Library

9/25/2016  A significant exhibit of items from the vast music collection of former professor of music Charlotte Holloman is now on display in the Washingtoniana Division, Room 307, of the Special Collections section of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library located at 9th and G Streets NW in Washington, DC.

Photo of Charlotte HollomanThree vitrines containing correspondence, photos, programs, performance reviews and ephemera will be on display until November 1, 2016. All of Mrs. Holloman's extensive and fascinating collection was assembled and donated to the Library by her daughter Charlotte after her death in the summer of 2015. Mrs. Holloman was a longtime member of the Friday Morning Music Club and Foundation Director from 1991-1995.

Liana Valente Appointed NFMC Representative to the United Nations

Indianapolis, IN – September 19, 2016 – The National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC), a United States Congressionally chartered organization, has appointed Dr. Liana Valente, Assistant Professor of Classical Voice and Coordinator of the Classical Voice Area, to the position of NFMC Representative to the United Nations.

A music educator with over 25 years' experience teaching at the post-graduate level, Valente joined the music faculty in the fall of 2015. In addition to her teaching, Valente has served as an arts administrator for opera companies and non-profit fine arts organizations throughout the United States; for six years she directed the Sigma Alpha Iota People-to-People Project, facilitating the donation of instruments and music staples to teachers, schools, and organizations in underdeveloped and developing parts of the world.

As a musician, Valente is admired for her performances of traditional opera, oratorio, and song literature, and is recognized as an exciting performer of new music, regularly commissioning works from composers across the globe.

NFMC affirms music as a universal language and strives to enhance the musical path of mutual understanding through cultural enrichment at all levels, amateur or professional. It is committed to the survival of music in all its multiple noteworthy facets.
The National Federation of Music Clubs was accredited by the United Nations as a member of the Department of Public Information/Non-Governmental Organizations (DPI/NGO) in 1949.

Pianist Karen Walwyn Commemorates 9/11

Photo of Karen WalwynOn the 15th anniversary of 9/11, faculty pianist Karen Walwyn shares her composition inspired by the tragedies of that fateful day in 2001. She hopes that Reflections on 9/11 will "provoke thought and understanding of this day that has marked this country forever." Karen performed the national debut of her completed work on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage on August 31, 2009. Listen.

Steinway Artists LogoDr. Walwyn joined the Howard University faculty in 2004. In 2012, she was awarded a Mellon Faculty Fellowship by the John Hope Franklin Institute at Duke University, where she completed her work entitled Of Dance & Struggle: A Musical Tribute to the Life of Nelson Mandela. She became an official Steinway Artist in 2014, and is currently researching the music of ... for future performance publication.

James E. and Geraldine N. Johnson Donate Piano 

8/13/2016. Drs. James and Geraldine Johnson have generously donated their piano to the Department of Music. Paul Milesi, University Piano Technician, was responsible for securing the gift.

Dr. Geraldine Johnson attended Howard University in the 1980s, and remained to teach literature and creative writing at Howard for several years.

The piano, a 1929 5'2" Hamilton grand that was partially rebuilt in the early 1990s, has been placed in the teaching studio of Dr. Eric Poole, Director of the Office of Choirs and Bands and a member of the Department of Music voice faculty. 

Orchestra Concert Features Pianist Raymond Jackson

On April 24, 2016, the Howard University Symphony Orchestra presented its annual Spring Concert in Ira Aldridge Theater with Dr. Raymond Jackson, Professor of Piano Emeritus, as piano soloist. Conductor Timothy Maček and Dr. Jackson had been working toward this feature for some time. The Department of Music's new Steinway Model B piano, a gift from the Katz Foundation, was moved to Aldridge Theater for the performance.

The Orchestra opened its program with the Overture to "The Italian Girl in Algiers" by Giacomo Rossini. The first movement of Ludwig van Beetheoven's Piano Concerto No.4 in G Major, Opus 58 (Allegro moderato) featuring Dr. Jackson as soloist concluded the first half. The concert was rounded out by Franz Schubert's Symphony No. 8 (Unfinished) in the second half of the concert.

Department of Music Faculty and Alums Tapped for 2016 OSCARS

Howard University Department of Music alumnus Harold Wheeler, B.M. '64, was the Music Director for the 88th Academy Awards(OSCARS) on February 28, 2016. The Gala was televised live on ABC-TV from the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, CA.

HU was also represented in the orchestra by Professor Fred Irby III , trumpet, and Michael Bearden, B.M.Ed. '86, on keyboards. 

Fred Irby III Receives Jazz Service Award

Professor Fred Irby, III was one of three recipients of the "Ronnie Wells Jazz Service Award" during the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival (MAJF) in Rockville, MD. Ron Elliston and Joan Rackey also received the award.

Pictured with Professor Irby is Paul Carr, B.M.'85 Jazz Studies, Executive and Artistic Director of MAJF and a 2014 recipient of HUJE's  Benny Golson Jazz Master Award.

Passionately committed to the education of children, particularly as it relates to the preservation of jazz, in 2002, Paul founded the Jazz Academy of Music, which hosts summer camps and jazz ensembles for kids throughout the year. In 2010, he re-established the East Coast Jazz Festival as the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival.

Metropolitan Club Donates Steinway Grand

2/1/2016. The Metropolitan Club of the City of Washington has generously donated a 1924 Steinway Model M grand piano to the Department of Music. Paul Milesi, University Piano Technician, was responsible for securing the gift. The piano has been placed in the teaching studio of jazz piano instructor Cyrus Chestnut.

Katz Foundation Donates New Steinway Recital Piano

The Abraham J. and Phylis Katz Foundation has graciously donated a new 7' Steinway Model B recital piano to the Department of Music. Steinway B #597670, encased in satin ebony and sporting the classic Steinway logo on its treble side, will reside on the stage of Lulu Vere Childers Recital Hall.

Dr. Charles Timbrell, Coordinator of Keyboard Studies, was responsible for securing the gift. Dr. Timbrell and fellow faculty member and Steinway Artist Dr. Karen Walwyn selected the piano at Steinway Piano Gallery in North Bethesda, MD, the local Steinway dealership.

This extraordinary gift will be officially recognized and celebrated in a Dedication Concert scheduled for Thursday, January 21, 2016 in Childers Recital Hall. The program, with Howard University pianists Charles Timbrell, Karen Walwyn, Cyrus Chestnut and Laurie Bunn, will feature a variety of piano music ranging from classical to jazz and spirituals, as well as an original composition by pianist/composer Walwyn. The concert is free and open to the public. Seating is limited.

Mickey Thomas Terry Receives Award

Dr. Mickey Thomas Terry has been awarded a 2015 DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities Artist Fellowship Award. This is the third consecutive year in which Dr. Terry has received this award.

Chris Royal Named "Green Teacher of the Year"

Professor Chris Royal has been awarded The Howard University Green Teacher of the Year Award for 2015. 

GRAMMY® Award Winner Patti Austin at Howard

GRAMMY® Award Winner Patti Austin visited the Department of Music on Friday, November 6, 2015 to rehearse with the Howard University Jazz Ensemble (HUJE) for an upcoming engagement. She also took time to present a brief masterclass and speak with students about her extensive career in the music industry.

The following Monday, November 9, Ms Austin performed with HUJE at the DC Jazz Festival's Annual Trustee Gala at Hamilton Live.

Choral Director J. Weldon Norris Featured in "Voices on the Hill - A Lifetime of Music"

Photo of Dr. Norris conductingOn October 11, 2015, Howard University President Dr. Wayne Frederick hosted Distinguished Alumnus and retired Director of University Choral Activities Dr. J. Weldon Norris on The Journey, a weekly production of WHUR 96.3 FM. Listen

Alumna Dawn Wilson Travels to Abu Dhabi

Oct 2015. Dawn Wilson, M.M.E. '14, just returned from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates where she provided music theory training to police musicians in the music department of the Police College. 

Marching Band Participates in Honda Battle of the Bands

Pic of "Showtime" Marching Band @ Honda Battle of the Bands 2015Howard University's "Showtime" Marching Band was one of eight bands invited to participate in the 2015 Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase in Atlanta, GA on January 24, 2015. Band members and faculty also participated in the HBOB Recruitment Fair, sharing information about Howard University's band and music programs with thousands of prospective students.

The Honda Battle of the Bands was created to celebrate, support and recognize the excellence of Black college marching bands and the unique academic experience offered by Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Honda annually awards more than $200,000 in grants to participating marching bands during the program period.

Watch the show.

Afro Blue Releases New Christmas CD Recorded Live at NPR

Photo of Afro Blue at NPR Studio 1A tambourine jingled merrily and spirits were high when Afro Blue visited NPR's Studio 1 to share a brilliant assortment of holiday music. The group delighted the audience with fresh, thoughtful arrangements of Christmas favorites, from a rollicking "Angels We Have Heard On High" to a sublime, weighty "Silent Night." Also on the bill were a few lesser-known holiday numbers, such as director Connaitre Miller's original piece "That Is Love," which offers a meditation on the meaning of the holiday season.

... As a further treat, Afro Blue was joined by jazz master and Howard University professor Cyrus Chestnut on piano, along with Eliot Seppa, B.M. '12, on bass and Carroll Dashiell III on drums. Read More, Listen, Share.

Purchase "An Afro Blue Christmas" as an MP3 download or on CD.

Richard Smallwood Speaks To Students 

Photo of Richard Smallwood - Trust Me CDOn Tuesday, September 16, 2014, in celebration of Gospel Music Heritage Month, renowned gospel artist and HU Alum Richard Smallwood, B.M. '71, returned to an overflowing Childers Recital Hall to address a rapt audience of Department of Music students and faculty. He spoke of his seminal years at Howard with fondness, described the challenges of his formative years as a young professional in the music industry, and humbly revealed his ultimate success as a brilliant gospel artist.

Throughout the evening, Mr. Smallwood delighted all in attendance whenever he turned to the Steinway concert grand upon which he had played his graduation recital and sang brief excerpts from the gospel repertoire—both his own and that of others. The evening closed with Mr. Smallwood leading the audience in a moving rendition of Total Praise.

Brent Birckhead Appointed to Morgan Faculty

Photo of Brent Birckhead playing alto saxJazz Studies program alum Brent Birckhead, B.M. '08, M.M. '10, has joined the music faculty of Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD as the saxophone instructor beginning Fall 2014.

In 2011, Brent was one of three Howard students among six students nationwide to be recognized for a Graduate College Outstanding Performance in the Jazz Soloist category in DownBeat Magazine's 34th Annual Student Music Awards.

Afro Blue and Traces of Blue Release New Videos

Photo of Afro Blue in ConertAfro Blue, Howard's premier vocal jazz ensemble under the direction of Professor Connaitre Miller, and Traces of Blue, an alumni outgrowth, have released two new videos entitled "Tribute to the Great Jazz Ladies of the Apollo" and "How I Got Over."

Recorded during the Alumni Jazz Concert that kicked off the Department of Music's 7th Annual Jazz Week this past April—part of a year-long centennial celebration for the Department—the videos feature a rich mix of current students, Afro Blue alums and a stellar rhythm section comprising pianist Geri Allen, B.M. '79, bassist Carroll Dashiell Jr., B.M. '87, M.M. '95, and drummer Carroll Dashiell III.

Watch: Tribute to the Great Jazz Ladies of the Apollo • How I Got Over

HOWARD Magazine Highlights 100 Years of Musical Excellence at Howard

The Summer 2014 issue of HOWARD magazine—complete with iconic professor James Weldon Norris on its cover— celebrates the Department of Music centennial.

The Editor's Letter, President's Perspective, and three feature articles all underscore a century of musicmaking by the Department and its alumni:

Howard Magazine Summer 2014, p.10

Howard Magaine Summer 2014, p.18

Howard Magazine Summer 2014, p.21

Howard Magazine Summer 2014 - Editor's Letter

Howard Magazine Summer 2014 - President's Perspective

Howard Magazine Summer 2014 - Front Cover feat. Dr. James Weldon Norris

Karen Walwyn Named Steinway Artist

Photo of Karen WalwynSteinway & Sons has designated Professor Karen Walwyn an official Steinway Artist, adding her to the ranks of an elite group of pianists worldwide awarded such stature by the famous piano maker, and making her Howard University's first "Steinway Artist-in-Residence."Steinway Artists Logo

Dr. Walwyn joined the Howard faculty in 2004. She was recently awarded a Mellon Faculty Fellowship by the John Hope Franklin Institute at Duke University, where she completed her debut work entitled Of Dance & Struggle: A Musical Tribute to the Life of Nelson MandelaRead more.

University Publishes New Fine Arts Video

Howard University has published a new video on its YouTube channel which provides an overview of the Division of Fine Arts. The 7-minute piece is a collage of students, alumni and faculty from the Departments of Art, Theatre and Music at work and in interviews. Watch.

Larry Jenkins Receives Appointment at Tennessee State University

Larry Jenkins, M.M. '14, was appointed Assistant Director of Bands at Tennessee State University in Nashville beginning Fall 2014. In addition to his responsibilities with the marching and concert bands, he will teach some music education courses.

Afro Blue Students Garner Top Awards

DownBeat 37th Student Awards LogoStudents in Howard's premier vocal jazz ensemble, Afro Blue, again earned top recognition in the annual DownBeat Student Music Awards for 2014. Afro Blue won first place for Outstanding Performance by a Large Vocal Jazz Ensemble and Blue Note, a sub-group of Afro Blue, was awarded first place for Outstanding Performance by a Small Vocal Jazz Group. Shacara Rogers (B.M. '12, M.M. '14) was cited for Outstanding Performance in the Vocal Jazz Soloist category. 

Wammie logoAfro Blue also won a 2014 "Wammie" for Best A Cappella Group in the 28th Annual Washington Area Music Awards, awarded by the Washington Area Music Association (WAMA).

Kudos to the members of Afro Blue and its director, Professor Connaitre Miller!

7th Annual Jazz Week Features Howard Jazz Program Alumni

Photo of Geri Allen at the piano.The Department of Music's 7th Annual Jazz Week featured the Department's graduates in lectures, panel discussions, workshops, films and concerts throughout the week of April 7-12, 2014. Pianist Geri Allen (B.M. '79) and acclaimed South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela highlighted the opening concert in Cramton Auditorium, which included alumni from both instrumental and vocal jazz studies programs.

Watch: Tribute to the Great Jazz Ladies of the Apollo • How I Got Over

Alumnus Damien Sneed Awarded Sphinx Medal of Excellence

On March 19, 2014, multi-genre pianist-composer-conductor Damien Sneed, B.M. '01, was honored, along with Carla Dirlikov and Pedrito Martinez, as a 2014 Sphinx Medal of Excellence recipient at an event Photo of Damien Sneedat the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and was among the guests of honor at a black-tie dinner at the United States Supreme Court, hosted by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Sneed was selected for the honor as one of the emerging Black and Latino leaders in classical music who demonstrate artistic excellence, outstanding work ethic, a spirit of determination and leadership potential. The Sphinx Medal of Excellence carries a $50,000 honorarium.

Vocal Jazz Students Participate in Jazz Ahead at the Kennedy Center

Vocal Jazz Studies students Shacara Rogers (B.M. '12, M.M. '14) and Integriti Reeves (M.M. '14) were among an elite group chosen to participate in the 2014 Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead program at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts from February 24-March 7.

The Jazz Ahead program identifies outstanding, emerging jazz artist-composers in their mid-teens to age twenty-five, and brings them together under the tutelage of experienced artist-instructors who coach and counsel them, helping to polish their performance, composing, and arranging skills. The two-week residency program includes daily workshops and rehearsal with established jazz artists and culminates in three concerts on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, broadcast live over the Internet. Archived performances.

Other Howard alums who are Jazz Ahead alumni include pianist Amy Bormet (M.M. '10) and vocalist Christie Dashiell (B.M. '10).

Department of Music Students and Faculty Join With Jazz Stars in Howard University's Musical Tribute To Nelson Mandela

Kehembe Eichelberger at Musical Tribute to Nelson MandelaDepartment of Music students and faculty contributed their talents along with jazz luminaries Larry Willis and Hugh Masekela in Howard University's February 11, 2014 Musical Tribute to Nelson Mandela.

Watch videos: Part 1 and Part 2.

HUJE Collaborates With The Washington Ballet In "The Jazz/Blues Project" At Harman Hall

Jazz Blues Project Header"The [Etta] James catalogue was performed live by the Howard University Jazz Ensemble and vocalist E. Faye Butler, and the musicians proved to be the essential spark that pushed this work into overdrive." -Sarah Halzack, The Washington PostRead the full review.

Watch the video.

President's February 2014 Bison Beat Newsletter spotlights Division of Fine Arts, Dr. Norris, Afro Blue, others. Read and Watch Video.

Pianist Leon Bates Presents Masterclass and Mini-Concert

On September 19, 2013, Department of Music students were treated to a masterclass and mini-concert by renowned concert pianist and Steinway Artist Leon Bates. The event took place in Childers Recital Hall. Howard University President Sidney A. Ribeau, Interim Provost Wayne A.I. Frederick, Associate Dean Gwendolyn Everett (Division of Fine Arts) and Department of Music Interim Chair Saïs Kamalidiin offered brief remarks.

The program—the first in a series of events planned to publicize and support the Department's Piano Renewal Initiative—was made possible through the generous support of David Slan and Steinway Piano Gallery–Washington DC, who provided a C&A Steinway Model D concert grand piano and paid the expenses associated with Mr. Bates's appearance.

Leon Bates with students
L to R: Ken Saliba of Steinway Piano Gallery,
Leon Bates, Khari Sarad-Sheldon, Kayla Waters,
Kalifa Moore, La'Vonne Tynes, Basil Muhammad 

Four student pianists and one Department of Music alum actively participated in the masterclass by playing for Maestro Bates in front of their peers, Departmental faculty and other guests. Mr. Bates critiqued each student's performance, offering supportive comments as well as suggestions for improvement. 

Among those who participated were Kalifa Moore (Class of 2015; student of Raymond Jackson), Basil Muhammad (Class of 2016; student of Charles Timbrell), Khari Sarad-Sheldon (Class of 2014; student of Karen Walwyn), La'Vonne Tynes (Class of 2015; student of Charles Timbrell) and Kayla Waters (B.M. '13; student of Karen Walwyn). Their repertoire that day included works by Albeniz, Beethoven, Debussy, Khachaturian and Mozart.

The Department of Music hosted student and VIP receptions following the performances to provide students, faculty, and members of the Howard University administration an opportunity to meet and talk with Maestro Bates and Steinway & Sons representatives.

Tracey Stewart Awarded Fulbright

Tracey Mia Stewart, B.M. '12 (Music History), has been honored as one of six Fulbright Fellows from Howard University for 2012-2013. Tracey will spend the coming year in Jamaica, W.I., exploring the rhythmic patterns that link the music of the Akan of West Africa, Jamaican Maroons, and the Gullah of the United States.

Established in 1946, the Fulbright Program mission is to increase mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and other countries, through the exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills. The national grant, funded by the U.S. Department of State, allows U.S. citizens or permanent residents to engage international communities through research and study or by teaching English abroad after earning Bachelor degrees. Grants cover travel and living costs for the academic year and necessary tuition at overseas universities.

Department of Music Marks 100-Years

The Department of Music began a two-year celebration of the 100th anniversary of its founding with an inaugural concert on Sunday afternoon, February 12, 2012 in Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel on the Howard University main campus.

Dr. Raymond Jackson, piano, Professor Kehembe Eichelberger, voice, and Professor Fred Irby, trumpet, performed to a full house. The program included ....