Nora Holt

Composer from United States of America

Nora Douglas Holt (1885 or 1890 – January 25, 1974) was an American singer, composer and music critic, who was born in Kansas and was the first African American to receive a masters degree in the United States. She composed over 200 works of music and was associated with the leading figures of the Harlem Renaissance and the co-founder of the National Association of Negro Musicians. She died in 1974 in Los Angeles. She was born Lena Douglas in Kansas City, Kansas in either 1885 or 1890 to Calvin Douglas, an African Methodist Episcopal Church minister and Gracie Brown Douglas. She graduated Western University at Quindaro, Kansas in 1917 with a bachelor's degree in music. In 1918 she earned her master's degree in music at Chicago Musical College, becoming the first African American woman to earn a master's in the United States. In the late 1930s, Douglas also studied music education at the University of Southern California. At the Chicago Musical College, her thesis composition was an orchestral work called Rhapsody on Negro Themes. She was married five times. In 1916 Douglas married her fourth husband, hotel owner George Holt, taking his name and changing her first name to  ( Wikipedia article )


Personal facts

Place of birth
Kansas City
United States of America
Musician, Composer


Institution From To
Western University


Date of death

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