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Hammond, John Henry, Jr. (15 December 1910–10 July 1987), critic and producer of jazz and popular music, was born in New York City, the son of John Henry Hammond, corporate lawyer, and Emily Vanderbilt Sloane. Born to privilege, Hammond used his wealth and position, along with considerable resourcefulness and conviction, to promote primarily black music through the 1940s in ways that profoundly influenced its development and international acceptance. He later branched out to produce important folk and rock recordings....

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See Herman, Michael

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Herman, Michael (1911–03 May 1996), and Mary Ann Herman (1912–24 March 1992), folk music and folk dance teachers, were born into urban immigrant communities in Cleveland, Ohio, and New York City, respectively. Little is known about Michael's early life, except that he was of Ukrainian descent. Mary Ann Bodnar, the daughter of Matwey and Anna Bodnar, grew up in a New York City ghetto that reflected a melding of many different cultures. She attended a Ukrainian neighborhood school. After graduating from James Monroe High School, she attended several colleges in the New York area but never received a degree. She became a dancing performer in her neighborhood Ukrainian folk group and launched her folk dance teaching career at the YMCA....

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Parker, H. T. (29 April 1867–30 March 1934), dance, music, and theater critic, was born Henry Taylor Parker in Boston, the son of William Fisk Parker and Susan Sophia Taylor Parker, whose occupations are unknown. He entered Harvard University in 1886 but apparently left in 1889 without graduating. He was immediately attracted to the writing of criticism and acquired the dual position of New York correspondent of the ...

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Walker, Edyth (27 March 1867–19 February 1950), opera singer and teacher, was born in Hopewell (Ontario County), New York, the daughter of Marquis de Lafayette Walker, a carpenter and landscape gardener, and Mary Purdy. Christened Minnie Edith, she changed her name to Mary Edyth and eventually dropped the Mary. When Edyth was an infant, the family moved to Geneva, New York. When she was about twelve, they relocated to Rome, New York, where she attended school and was graduated from the Rome Free Academy in 1884. Her natural talent enabled her to perform as a contralto soloist in nearby churches, without formal vocal training, from the age of fourteen....