Nora Holt Musician

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.

Personal details

United States of America
Date of death
January 25th, 1974
Place of death
Los Angeles, California, United States of America
African American


1. Western University (Kansas) Colleges/University

Western University (Kansas) (1865–1943) was a historically black college (HBCU) established as Quindaro Freedman's School at Quindaro, Kansas after the Civil War. It was the earliest school for African Americans west of the Mississippi River and the only one ever to operate in the state of Kansas. Its music school was recognized nationally as one of the best in the first three decades of the 20th century. Among its most famous alumni were several women who were influential music pioneers in the early 20th century, including Eva Jessye, who created her own choir and collaborated with major artists such as Virgil Thomson and George Gershwin in New York City.

Wikipedia article

People attended Western University (Kansas) connected by profession and/or age

b. 1895., Musician
b. 1901., Actor


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