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Eugene Thamon Simpson

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Dr. Eugene Thamon Simpson, a graduate of Howard, Yale and Columbia Universities, performed widely as a concert pianist before discovering and developing his vocal gifts. As NCOIC and Choral Director of the Department of Army World Tour Show, "Rolling Along," and leader of the "Melodaires Quartet," he won the first prize in the world-wide competition for vocal groups, and toured for nine months throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Far East, and the Antilles, entertaining our military troops.This led to a number of radio and television appearances, including the "Ed Sullivan Show," and culminated in a decision to undertake a career as a solo singer. In this role, he performed at Steinway Hall, Town Hall, Avery Fischer Hall, and with the Berkshire Music Center and Boston Symphony Orchestras. He has performed hundreds of radio and television commercials as a studio singer, and has recorded dozens of albums with stars of all types from Harry Belafonte to Leontyne Price, under the stage name, Eugene Thamon.

After ten years in commercial work and in the New York City Schools, he accepted an appointment as Voice Chairman and Director of Choral Activities at Virginia State College, where he produced the critically acclaimed Hall Johnson and William Dawson Song Book Albums. In 1970, he was appointed Chair of Music at Bowie State University, and in 1972, became Head, Division of Humanities. Under his direction, the Bowie State University Chorale provided Maryland's only representation in the Third International University Choral Festival at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, the White House and the United Nations.

In 1975, Dr. Simpson was appointed Music Chairman and Professor of Voice and Choral Literature at Rowan University. As Director of the Rowan University Chamber Choir, he appeared at regional and national conventions of the ACDA, and MENC, thrice at Carnegie Hall, at the Mormon Tabernacle, St.Paul's Cathedral in London, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, the Piaristenkirche in Vienna, in St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia, and in Madrid, Spain.

Dr. Simpson's voice pupils have won more than 100 prestigious vocal competitions, and appear on concert and operatic stages worldwide, from the Academy of Music to La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera House. Positions of educational leadership include service as President of New Jersey ACDA, Governor of New Jersey NATS, Chairman of the Eastern Region NASM, Founding National Chair of the ACDA Committee on Intercultural Music, Choral Panelist for the NEA, and Founding Curator of the Hall Johnson Collection at Rowan University. He has two children, Eugene Tyra, and Adrienne Adele Simpson, and resides in Sicklerville, New Jersey.


Since his retirement from teaching in 2000, Dr. Simpson has authored four books: "Hall Johnson: His Life, His Spirit, and His Music," "A Host of Angels," "Schwanengesang: An Artist's Guide to Performance," and "The Hall Johnson Concert Spirituals: An Annotated Guide to Performance." In 2014, he tranferred the Hall Johnson Archival Collection to its permanent home in the new Smithsonisn Museum of African American History and Culture which opened on September 24, 2016; and established and endowed a second Hall Johnson Collection for the personal library of Johnson's books and sound recordings at the University of Georgia - Athens, Johnson's birthplace. In 2015, he edited 19 Hall Johnson Concert Spirituals for digital publication by Hal Leonard and created the NATS Hall Johnson Spirituals Competition which began in July 2016 and which he endowed for 20 years.  


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