The School of Music Remembers Willie T. Summerville

The School of Music community is saddened to hear of the loss of Willie T. Summerville. He has been a much beloved leader in the local community and its musical culture. We have always been proud of his association with and ongoing impact in the School of Music, where we were looking forward to his participation in this weekend’s Black Sacred Music Symposium. Dr. Ollie Watts Davis, symposium coordinator and long-time friend of Mr. Summerville, states: 

"The life of Willie T. Summerville, as an extraordinary human being, will be celebrated for many years. I first met Mr. Summerville as a graduate student in the early 80s. He and his gracious wife, Valerian, embraced my husband and me, and later our children, as elder siblings and godparents. Mr. Summerville generously shared his life experiences and assisted me in every way as an enthusiastic supporter of my work as performer, professor, and conductor of Black Chorus. He was scheduled to serve on the faculty for the Black Sacred Music Symposium this weekend, where he would be recognized for his interrupted tenure as a faculty member for the Symposium conference. The Thirteenth Black Sacred Music Symposium is dedicated to the memory of Willie T. Summerville - Our Educator. Our Encourager. Our Friend.”     

Our condolences go out to his family and large circle of friends, colleagues, and students.

Read more in the News-Gazette.

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