|An Historic Organization since 1919
|Founded in Chicago in 1919, the National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc. is the country’s oldest organization dedicated to
the preservation, encouragement and advocacy of all genres of the music of African Americans. In A Documentary History of the
National Association of Negro Musicians (2004, Center for Black Music Research), Dr. Doris Evans McGinty (1924-2005) cites
in "The Significance of NANM" (p. 54) how the benefits of membership in the organization have remained constant during its
almost nine-decade existence:
The founding of NANM in 1919 came as an island of opportunity for the African-American musician. For an annual membership
fee of $5, music teachers and musical performers had the chance to meet and compare notes with their counterparts from
other parts of the country; to hear concerts from familiar and unfamiliar musical literature; to become acquainted with the new
teaching techniques that were discussed in the workshops; to benefit from exposure to high standards of musicianship; to
discuss mutual problems and strategize solutions; and to enhance the status of the private music studios by allowing prize
students to compete for scholarships. Here, too, was an opportunity for young musicians to benefit not only from scholarships
but also from the attention of professional musicians and to enjoy the fellowship of other young aspiring musicians. Here was
the chance for the church or community choir singer to blend his or her voice with the NANM convention choir, perhaps in the
singing of a choral masterwork, directed by a renowned conductor. For the aspiring artist, here was the opportunity to be heard
by peers and to see, even meet, recognized performers. And here, within the NANM meetings, was a platform for the seasoned
artist to perform. In short, by providing a critical mass of African-American musicians at its annual conventions and sustaining a
network of communication throughout the year, NANM offered opportunities for growth as well as for fraternization with fellow
NANM, Inc., since its inception, has provided encouragement and support to thousands of African American musicians, many of
whom have become widely respected figures in music and have contributed significantly to American culture and music history.
The organization has awarded scholarships to scores of talented young musicians throughout the country. A list of them would
include such luminaries as Marian Anderson (first scholarship award recipient in 1919), William L. Dawson, Florence B. Price,
Margaret Bonds, Warren George Wilson, James Frazier, Julia Perry, Grace Bumbry, Leon Bates, Joseph Joubert, Awadagin
Pratt, and many, many others.
Over the years, many international personalities have been presented in performances, including Lena Horne, Todd Duncan,
John W. Work, R. Nathaniel Dett, Marian Anderson, Edward Boatner, Camille Nickerson, Clarence Cameron White, Margaret
Bonds, Florence B. Price, Etta Moten, Betty Allen, Natalie Hinderas, Adele Addison, Kermit Moore, Simon Estes, George Shirley,
Robert McFerrin, Shirley Verrett, Jessye Norman, Sanford Allen, Derek Lee Ragin, the Uptown String Quartet, Esther Hinds,
Ruby Hinds, Wilhelmina Fernandez, the Hinds Sisters, William Warfield, Benjamin Matthews, the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers,
Harolyn Blackwell, Billy Taylor, Delphin and Romain, Gregory Hopkins, and Martina Arroyo.
Noted clinicians have included Carl Diton, Warner Lawson, Frederick Hall, Kemper Harreld, Wendell Whalum, Eileen Southern,
Doris McGinty, Alain Locke, Grace Bumbry, Sylvia Olden Lee, James Cleveland, Raoul Abdul, Geneva Handy Southall, Sowah
Mensah, Robert Ray, Willis Patterson, Roland Carter, Brazeal Dennard, Robert Harris, Shirley Verrett, and many other
musicians, educators, scholars, and lovers of music who constitute the musical fabric of the organization. These include NANM’
s Junior and Youth divisions, and Collegiate Branches, comprised of young artists and scholars from all over the country.
These young people participate in workshops and are presented in performances throughout each annual meeting week.
Mission Statement: NANM promotes, preserves, and supports all genres of music created or performed by African Americans.
To assist in maintaining a world in which all people may live in peace and harmony.
To develop world-wide love and appreciation of traditional and contemporary Negro music.
To foster a larger public appreciation for education in good music.
To encourage the use of Negro Folk Themes as a basis for compositions.
To encourage accurate performance of the Negro spirituals.
To develop higher professional standards through lectures, conferences and conventions.
To promote the exchange of ideas and a spirit of fellowship among musicians.
To discover, encourage, and assist the cultivation of musical gifts among talented, deserving youth through such activities as
will extend the influence of music as a necessary and inspiring element in the life of the people.
To establish and maintain a fund for scholarships.