Thomas Henderson Kerr, Jr. papers,

Title
Thomas Henderson Kerr, Jr. papers, 1931-2002.
Author
Kerr, Thomas Henderson, Jr.
Supplementary Content
Finding aid

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Vol/DateFormatAccessStatusCall NumberLocation
box 1Mixed materialUse in libraryAvailableSc MG 763 box 1Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives
box 2Mixed materialUse in libraryAvailableSc MG 763 box 2Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives
box 3Mixed materialUse in libraryAvailableSc MG 763 box 3Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives
box 4Mixed materialUse in libraryAvailableSc MG 763 box 4Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives
box 5Mixed materialUse in libraryAvailableSc MG 763 box 5Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives
box 6Mixed materialUse in libraryAvailableSc MG 763 box 6Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives
box 7Mixed materialUse in libraryAvailableSc MG 763 box 7Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives
box 8Mixed materialUse in libraryAvailableSc MG 763 box 8Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives
box 9Mixed materialUse in libraryAvailableSc MG 763 box 9Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives
box 10Mixed materialUse in libraryAvailableSc MG 763 box 10Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives
box 11Mixed materialUse in libraryAvailableSc MG 763 box 11Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives
box 12Mixed materialUse in libraryAvailableSc MG 763 box 12Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives
box 13Mixed materialUse in libraryAvailableSc MG 763 box 13Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives
box 14Mixed materialUse in libraryAvailableSc MG 763 box 14Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives

Details

Description
3.8 lin. ft. (14 boxes)
Subjects
Genre/Form
  • Scores.
  • Scrapbooks.
Note
  • Photographs transferred to Photographs and Prints Division.
  • Audiotapes, videotapes and films transferred to Moving Image and Recorded Sound Division.
Terms of Use (note)
  • Permission from donor is required to photocopy music scores.
Source (note)
  • Cynthia Reid
Biography (note)
  • Composer Thomas Henderson Kerr, Jr. began playing and studying piano at an early age, was self-taught on the organ, and, as early as fourteen, played for church services as well as in Baltimore's nightclubs. He studied at Howard University, remaining there for one year before transferring to the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. At Eastman he studied piano with Cecile Genharadt and graduated summa cum laude.
  • Following his studies at Eastman, he was appointed to the Music Faculty at Knoxville College in Tennessee. He was also the recipient of a Rosenwald fellowship for work in composition. Two years later Dean Warner Lawson of the School of Music, Howard University appointed him as Professor of Piano and Chairman of the Piano Department in the School of Music where he served for more than thirty years, before retiring in 1976. During his tenure at Howard his career flourished as he composed and arranged music for significant events directly and indirectly affecting the University, such as the Howard University Centennial, and the installation services for James Nabrit, president of the University as well as for the U.S. Bicentennial, and the deaths of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, and the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Despite more than sixty-five compositions to his credit, Professor Kerr never referred to himself as a composer.
  • For over thirty-five years he served as the organist at Plymouth Congregational Church in Washington, D.C. As a pianist, he performed concerts at a variety of places including the National Gallery of Art, and the Phillips Collection, and appeared twice as a concert soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C.
Call Number
Sc MG 763
Author
Kerr, Thomas Henderson, Jr.
Title
Thomas Henderson Kerr, Jr. papers, 1931-2002.
Summary
The Thomas H. Kerr, Jr. papers reflect his activity as a composer, organist, pianist, scholar, and teacher. The Personal series, 1937-1988, is comprised of individual files on Kerr and his family and includes biographical statements and sketches, high school and college records, scrapbooks, organizational affiliations, newspaper articles and essays published in various publications, letters, obituaries, and memorabilia from the wedding to his second wife Hortense R. Kerr. There are newspaper clippings about Thomas H. Kerr dating from 1950 to 1988 regarding performances.
The Professional series 1934-1988 consists of a small file on Kerr relating to his work at Howard University in the Piano Department, including letters from colleagues and scholars until his death in 1988. There are also programs of Kerr's concerts from the 1930s to 1980s and notes drafted for recital programs.
The Music series forms the major part of the collection and consists of compositions and arrangements. A printed catalog compiled by Constance Tibbs Hobson and Cynthia A. Reid of his works, spanning a period of five decades (1937-1987) documents more than 100 of his compositions and arrangements, many of which are in the collection. There are also works by other composers, including his father, Thomas Kerr, Sr. and other well known composers.
The Hortense Kerr series is comprised of her files on Kerr documenting her effort to catalog and copyright Kerr's music. There is also general correspondence, and cards and letters following Kerr's death, program for recitals in Kerr's honor, and contracts to perform her husband's music.
Terms Of Use
Permission from donor is required to photocopy music scores.
Biography
Composer Thomas Henderson Kerr, Jr. began playing and studying piano at an early age, was self-taught on the organ, and, as early as fourteen, played for church services as well as in Baltimore's nightclubs. He studied at Howard University, remaining there for one year before transferring to the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. At Eastman he studied piano with Cecile Genharadt and graduated summa cum laude.
Following his studies at Eastman, he was appointed to the Music Faculty at Knoxville College in Tennessee. He was also the recipient of a Rosenwald fellowship for work in composition. Two years later Dean Warner Lawson of the School of Music, Howard University appointed him as Professor of Piano and Chairman of the Piano Department in the School of Music where he served for more than thirty years, before retiring in 1976. During his tenure at Howard his career flourished as he composed and arranged music for significant events directly and indirectly affecting the University, such as the Howard University Centennial, and the installation services for James Nabrit, president of the University as well as for the U.S. Bicentennial, and the deaths of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, and the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Despite more than sixty-five compositions to his credit, Professor Kerr never referred to himself as a composer.
For over thirty-five years he served as the organist at Plymouth Congregational Church in Washington, D.C. As a pianist, he performed concerts at a variety of places including the National Gallery of Art, and the Phillips Collection, and appeared twice as a concert soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C.
Connect to:
Local Subject
Black author.
Research Call Number
Sc MG 763
View in Legacy Catalog