Noah Ryder, choral conductor and educator
Fisk Jubilee Quartet (1909)
Noah Ryder (3rd from the left)
Noah Ryder was born on this date in 1914. He was an African American conductor, singer and educator.
From Nashville, TN., Noah Francis Ryder soon moved to Cincinnati, OH. There his stepmother and his father raised him. During this time he learned piano, other instruments, and African-American spirituals. Ryder played in his high school orchestra, formed a jazz ensemble, and in 1931 entered Hampton Institute. At Hampton, he studied performance, composition, and conducting with Nathaniel Dett and Clarence Cameron White. Ryder also formed a jazz group and a quartet known as the Deep River Boys.
In 1935, following graduation, he held three teaching positions throughout North Carolina. Handy Brothers Publishing began to issue his arrangements while he was choir director at this alma mater. In 1944, he began a two-year service with the Navy, after which he completed his masters degree at the University of Michigan culminated with heading the music department at the Norfolk Division of Virginia State College. From 1947 until 1962, Ryder conducted college and church choirs and community glee clubs until illness brought an end to this activity. Noah Ryder died in 1964.
Dr. Darryl Taylor
The University of Northern Iowa
School of Music
110 Russell Hall
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614-0246
Director and professor of Choral Music, Dr. Anton Armstrong shares some wisdom of the African heritage and African American influence on the American Choral tradition