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Evelyn LaRue Pittman

Female | Composers


1910 - 1992

Evelyn Pittman studied with Kemper Harreld, black violinist and head of the music department at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. It was during her college years that she became committed to telling the story of black history through music. After graduation, she entered Langston University in Oklahoma (1933) and received her teaching certificate. For about thirteen years, Pittman taught in the public schools of Oklahoma City, organized an orchestra, had a weekly radio program, founded the Evelyn Pittman Choir, published "Rich Heritage," and wrote a newspaper column for Oklahoma City Newspaper. In 1948, Pittman studied composition under Robert Ward at Julliard, later, in 1954, studying with Harrison Kerr at the University of Oklahoma. She received her M.M and, in 1956, Pittman studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. Her theater works, "Cousin Esther, folk opera "Again the River," and "Freedom's Child," have been performed in the United States, Europe, and Africa. She has written compositions for solo voice and spiritual arrangements.

Source: Perkins Holly, Ellistine. Biographies of Black Composers and Songwriters; A Supplementary Textbook. Iowa:Wm. C. Brown Publishers, 1990.



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