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Lillian Moris LeMon
*On this date in 1894, Lillian Morris LeMon was born. She was a Black pianist, music teacher, and administrator.
Born Lillian Morris in Louisville, KY, her parents were William and Ada. Like many Blacks, the Morris went north in the early 20th century with the great migration, arriving in Indianapolis by 1902. She graduated from Shortridge high school and the college of musical art (affiliated with Butler College). She married Philippine immigrant Angel LeMon in 1913. Angel was born in Guindulman, Bohol, in about 1888 and came to Indianapolis around 1903.
In 1920 the couple was living at 1128 North Senate Street with two Philippine-born migrants working in Angel's restaurant at the same address (now under Interstate 65). The couple moved to North West Street just before Lillian opened her music school, just one year before the segregated Crispus Attucks High School opened a block away. She founded the Cosmopolitan School of Music in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1919.
She was also an educator and taught school for many years. In October 1926, the Recorder indicated that LeMon's school had two grand pianos, and the studios "have been furnished with taste and have a very Artistic atmosphere." Lillian trained with a rich range of instrumental and voice instructors, including Oscar Willard Pierce in his College of Musical Arts and Indiana University lecturer John L. Geiger. She was active in her church as choir director and church chorister. LeMon became the sixth president of the National Association of Negro Musicians, serving from 1932 to 1934.
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Dictionary of African American Musicians and Music Educators