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Thomas Kerr


Clare Longendyke.jpg

Thomas Henderson Kerr junior (born January 3, 1915 in Baltimore , † August 26, 1988 in Washington, DC ) was an American composer and music teacher.

The son of the composer Thomas H. Kerr senior was a student of William Llewellyn Wilson at Douglass High School , from which also the composer Mark Fax , the singer Anne Browne and the jazz musician Cab Calloway emerged . He took piano lessons and learned to play the organ autodidactically. At the age of fourteen he was a church organist and performed in clubs on Pennsylvania Avenue . At the Eastman School of Music he was a piano student of Cecile Genhardt . He obtained a bachelor's degree in piano and a master's degree in the subjectMusic theory .

Initially, Kerr was a lecturer at Knoxville College . In 1942 Warner Lawson appointed him as a teacher of music theory at Howard University . In addition to a time at Eastman School, he was a lifelong professor of composition and director of the piano department at Howard University. He composed works for solo instruments (especially piano and organ), chamber music, songs and choral works and a work for instrumental ensemble. An opera about the life of Frederick Douglass remained unfinished.

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