Department of Music

Department Profile

Mission Statement for the Department of Music

The purpose of the Department of Music is to maintain a viable and innovative center of learning in the School of Liberal Arts and to meet the current and future needs of Hampton University students. While committed to serving students from diverse cultural backgrounds, the Department of Music offers programs that develop and enhance skills in musicianship, performance, music technology, professionalism, and artistic demeanor. The major goals of the Department of Music are to promote the full development of the music major:

  1. academically through the study of liberal arts;
  2. musically through instruction in musicianship and performance;
  3. professionally through exposure to learning situations and organizations; and
  4. socially through musical activities promoted within and outside the area.

The activities of the Department of Music are in concert with the mission of the University and the School of Liberal Arts by providing related experiences which assist students in their ability to:

  1. assume responsibility;
  2. establish a professional attitude;
  3. gain self-confidence;
  4. develop a humanistic attitude toward life;
  5. become proficient in their area of musical specialization;
  6. appreciate diverse cultures; and
  7. contribute positively to the world around them.

*The Hampton University Department of Music is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music

References to music at Hampton Institute can be found as early as the 1870's. Francis Greenwood Peabody writes in his book,

Education for Life: The Story of the Hampton Institute:

"The effect of the first 'Spirituals' as sung by a great body like the students of Hampton is a unique experience… such was the music which the Hampton Singers made familiar to northern audiences and through which set themselves to 'sing up' Virginia Hall."

-Compiled by Dr. Eric Rieff and
Dr. Carl G. Harris, Jr.

Thus, the music tradition at Hampton University began in 1868 when the school first opened its doors as Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute. Celebrating 80 years, the Department of Music is an integral part of the Hampton University academic and cultural life. Throughout these years, the department has not only sustained excellence in choral, marching band and symphonic wind traditions, but it has established an outstanding record in educating and training music educators, music engineers, and of course, performers. The Department also supports a chamber orchestra, which is unique among HBCU's, yet is an essential part to the Hampton musical tradition. Among Hampton's famous music graduates are Dorothy Maynor, Charles Flax, Chauncey Scott Northern, Rudolph Von Charlton, Georgia Ryder, Willia Daughtry, Nathan Carter, Roland Carter, Marilyn Thompson, D'Walla Simmons-Burke, Bob Ransom, Harold Summey, Joshua Head, Andrae Ames, Theodore Burgh and Derrick Gardner to name a few. Our distinguished Faculty includes, Noah Ryder, Dr. Roland, Carter, Dr. Harvey Stokes, Dr. Nathaniel Dett, Dr. Willia Daughtry, Barney Smart and Dr. James Herbison.