Riding to Town (voice and piano)

Original Listing

Paul Laurence Dunbar, Riding to Town

Biographical Information

(1915-1988) Thomas H. Kerr Jr. was a composer, teacher, and pianist. He received three degrees from the Eastman School of Music: bachelor's degrees in piano and theory and a master's in theory. He also studied at Howard University, where he was appointed chairman of the music department. Kerr began composing music on the music faculty at Knoxville College in Tennessee, where he worked for more than 30 years. Kerr wrote more than 60 compositions. He began an opera based on the life of Frederick Douglass but never completed it because his librettist (a professor of journalism at Howard University) did not provide him with a libretto. In 1942, he received a Rosenwald Fellowship in Composition, and in 1977, he won first prize in the competition sponsored by Composers and Authors of America. He composed a large work for organ, a trilogy for voice and piano, several spirituals, and other art songs.