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The Story of Dorothy Maynor


Norfolk Miracle, The Story of Dorothy Maynor
Featuring Charmaine Anderson and Bennie Williams
Born: September 3, 1910 - Norfolk, Va., USA
Died: 1996 - Norfolk, Virginia, USA

The noted black American soprano and music educator, Dorothy Maynor, the daughter and granddaughter of Norfolk clergymen, was one of the most highly praised singers of the 1940ís and 1950ís. She had "a soaring, bell-like soprano capable of exquisite musical effects, supported by a sincere and ardent temperament," wrote Nicolas Slonimsky.

Dorothy Maynor began singing in her father's church, and from 1924 was educated from at the Hampton Institute, receiving B.S. in 1933. She began her career singing in various choirs, and in 1929 toured with the institutesís most famous chorus in Europe. After her graduation from Hampton in 1933, Maynor attended Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J. In 1936, she moved to New York to study privately William Kamroth and John Alan Haughton and led a church choir in Brooklyn.

At the 1939 Berkshire Festival in Tanglewood, Massachusetts, Dorothy Maynor sang for Serge Koussevitzky, conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He arranged for her to give a performance at a picnic, which led to a rave review in The New York Times.

"Her voice is a miracle," the conductor declared, "a musical revelation that the world must hear." Most of the critics echoed Koussevitzky's praise after Maynor's New York debut in November 1939, and she was soon "a fixture in the elite group of black artists that included [Marian] Anderson, Roland Hayes and Paul Robeson," Rosalyn M. Story wrote in "And So I Sing: African-American Divas of Opera and Concert." She nonetheless learned arias from dozens of operas and featured them in her concerts.

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This product was added to our catalog on Sunday 29 August, 2010.

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