*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.