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Tue, 04.16.1918

Carol Brice, one of Oklahoma’s finest Singers

Carol Brice

Carol Brice was born on this date 1918. She was a Black contralto singer.

Born into a musical family, Carol Brice was from Sedalia, N.C. The Brice Trio also included her brothers Eugene and Jonathan who both had individual musical careers. She received training at Palmer Memorial Institute in Sedalia, earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Talladega College in Alabama in 1939, and further trained with Francis Rogers at the Juilliard School of Music in New York (1939-1943). She first attracted attention when she sang in The Hot Mikado at the New York World’s Fair in 1939. She was also chosen to sing at a concert for President Roosevelt’s 3rd inauguration in 1941 and was the first Black American to win the Naumburg Award in 1943.

Among her many stage roles were Addie in Regina, Maude in Finian’s Rainbow, Maria in Porgy and Bess, Queenie in Showboat and Harriet Tubman in Gentlemen, Be Seated. She was a member of the Vienna Volksoper from 1967 to 1971.  Brice taught at the University of Oklahoma from 1974.  With her husband, the baritone Thomas Carey, she founded the Cimarron Circuit Opera Company. Carol Brice died on February 15, 1985 in Norman, Oklahoma.

Reference:
The Face of Our Past
Images of Black Women from Colonial America to the Present
Edited by Kathleen Thompson and Hilary Mac Austin
Copyright1999, Indiana University Press
ISBN 0-253-336535-X

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