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Hansonia Caldwell

Female | Scholars

Dr. Hansonia Caldwell is a recently retired professor of music at California State University Dominguez Hills, with academic specialties in music, Afr


Dr. Hansonia Caldwell is a recently retired professor of music at California State University Dominguez Hills, with academic specialties in music, African-American music history, piano, choral conducting and humanities.  Dr. Caldwell, who holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Boston University and the MM and PhD degrees in Musicology from the University of Southern California.  Over the years, she has taught at USC, at CSU Long Beach, and at Santa Monica City College.  She joined the faculty of CSUDH in 1972, teaching undergraduate courses  in African American Music, African Diaspora Arts and Religion, Arts and Social Protest, Music Appreciation and 19th Century Music History and two graduate seminars in the Humanities MA Program --  Music in the City and Performance and Criticism.   Dr. Caldwell, a distinguished accompanist and church organist, is founding conductor of the Dominguez Hills Jubilee Choir, a town and gown multiethnic ensemble that specializes in the performance of music from African-American culture.  Most recently, Dr. Caldwell has become Founding Director of the Program for the Study of African Diaspora Sacred Music and Musicians, an organization that has as its primary mission the study of the life and work of African Diaspora musicians in the field of sacred music and the preservation and performance of their music.  With special support from the National Endowment of the Humanities and the California Council for the Humanities, the Georgia and Nolan Payton Foundation and community donors, the focus of the Program is to research, collect, preserve and perform the life and work of African Diaspora musicians whose work has been created and/or performed in Southern California.  These works are being collected within the Georgia and Nolan Payton Archive of Sacred Music, housed within the library of CSU Dominguez Hills.   (See its new web site).  Dr. Caldwell is an active research and performance scholar who is author of two major books -- African American Music, A Chronology: 1619-1995 (1996), and African American Music – Spirituals (originally published in 2000; third edition, 2003). Her studies of the work of African American composers have been published in American Society of University Composers Proceedings and in The Black Perspective in Music.   Her biographical profiles of composers Jester Hairston and Gertrude Rivers Robinson are featured in the International Dictionary of Black Composers (2000), a project of the Center for Black Music Research.  She has been a grants review panelist for the California Arts Council, the Arizona Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and the City of Los Angeles’ Cultural Affairs Department, and is regularly an accreditation evaluator for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.   She served two terms as Eligibility Adviser/International Fifth Vice President of Mu Phi Epsilon, an international professional music fraternity, and served as president of the Beverly Hills Alumni chapter of this organization (1997-1999).  For six years (1993-1999) she served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Public Corporation for the Arts, the Long Beach Regional Arts Council.  She has been a curtain raiser preview speaker for The Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers, the Afro American Chamber Music Society, the Southeast Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.   Dr. Caldwell served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association (1990 – 2005), and is founding president of Southwest Heights Philharmonic Affiliates, an advisor to the Southeast Symphony Association, an advisor to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and a member of the National Association of Negro Musicians (Georgia Laster Branch).  She is married to Charles Harriford, publisher and president of IKORO Communications.



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