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White (Don Lee) Collection
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This collection contains the papers, photographs, videos, and musical recordings related to organist, conductor, and musicologist Dr. Don Lee White. The collection documents African-American church music, church history, and the evolution of spiritual music in African-American churches. It also includes several compilations of hymns along with audio and video recordings of church and classical performances.
Don Lee White was born in Los Angeles, CA, on October 25, 1926 and attended both Los Angeles City College and California State University, Los Angeles before earning his Master's degree in Music in 1958 from the University of Southern California (USC) where he majored in Church Music. White completed some graduate work towards his doctorate in Musical Arts at both USC and Stanford University, and was given an honorary doctorate in 1984 by the University of Monrovia, West Africa. In his early career, White was a professor of music and the college organist at Prairie View A and M University in Texas for five years. Upon his return to Los Angeles he taught organ, piano, choral music, conducting and music appreciation at California State University, Los Angeles for 27 years. White also served as the organist and musical director of the Grant African Methodist Church, Los Angeles, for over 38 years. Under his leadership, the Grant A.M.E. adult choir achieved national recognition for their musical versatility. They performed throughout the United States and recorded several albums. In 1988, White took a leave of absence from Grant A.M.E. and organized the D.L.W. Community Chorale, whose purpose is to perform the extended compositions of African American composers. White was an active member in many music organizations, among them the National Association of Negro Musicians and the American Chorale Directors Association. In addition he was often requested to give lectures and workshops across the country. He passed away on September 16, 2010.
39 boxes
All requests for permission to publish or quote from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Director of Archives and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical materials and not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
There are no access restrictions on this collection.