Rebecca Walker Steele

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Rebecca Walker Steele (October 18, 1925 - January 12, 2019) was an American musician and educator. She was known for her singing and for her choral direction. Steele directed choirs at Florida A&M University and Bethune-Cookman College.



Steele was born on October 18, 1925, in Lakeland, Florida. [1] She showed early musical talent, performing in her grandfather's church at age 4. [2] Her parents encouraged her in pursuing music and made she had the "best possible training." [1] She attended the Rochelle High School and earned an associate degree from Florida Memorial College. [2] Steele graduated with a bachelor's degree from Alabama State University (ASU), where she studied piano under Hazel Harrison. [1] She earned master's degrees in voice, piano, choral conducting and also in music education from Columbia University. [1] Steele earned her Ph.D. in 1973 from Florida State University, where she specialized in multicultural music education. [1] [2]

While she was in New York City, she "was in great demand as a singer." [1] Steele worked as the university choir director at Florida A&M University (FAMU) where she was in charge of one of Tallahassee's first "multiracial choirs." [3] [4] Steel worked at FAMU between 1947 until 1976, when she went on to become a faculty member at Bethune-Cookman College. [4] Steele retired from Bethune-Cookman in 2013. [2] As a choir director, her choral groups performed across the United States and were "constantly in demand." [1]

Steele died on January 12, 2019. [2]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Roberts, Mary (1996). "Steele, Rebecca". In Hine, Darlene Clark; Thompson, Kathleen (eds.). Facts on File encyclopedia of Black women in America. New York: Facts on File. pp. 150–151. ISBN   0-8160-3425-7. OCLC   35209436.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "Dr. Rebecca Walker Steele". 17 January 2019.
  3. "Duke at the Organ". Jet. 7 (26): 62. 5 May 1955 via Google Books.
  4. 1 2 Pecquet, Julian (2006-01-21). "Former FAMU Director Receives MLK Award". Tallahassee Democrat. p. 9. Retrieved 2019-12-29 via