African Chorus and the International Consortium for the Music of
Africa & its Diaspora
That he was a
Sunday, May 28,
2006: Special Memorial Service at
of Padua Church,
New Orleans, LA.
Lucius Weathersby, PhD
In demand throughout Europe, Central America as well as the United States, Lucius R. Weathersby, PhD was Visiting Artist at Amherst College in Amherst, MA and Assistant Professor of Music and African World Studies at Dillard University in New Orleans, where he once served as Interim Dean of Humanities. He was Director of Music at First Congregational Church in Waterloo, Iowa and Church of the Beatitudes in Phoenix, Arizona where he founded two distinguished concert series which continue to thrive. As conductor, Dr. Weathersby has led numerous orchestral and vocal ensembles. While in Iowa, he conducted members of the Waterloo Cedar Falls Symphony. In Phoenix, the Sanctuary Choir of Church of the Beatitudes performed many major choral works with members of the Phoenix Symphony. In 1993, he was a guest conductor at the International Dvorak Festival. He also led the West Union Madrigal Singers in Dvorak's Mass in D. In 1997, he was appointed assistant to Maestro Herriman and the San Marcos Symphony. Dr. Weathersby is in demand as a lecturer on such topics as African and Afro-American Music, Keyboard Techniques, and The Music of the Baroque. He has lectured at Cambridge University (UK), Yale University, the University of London as well as Chapters of the American Guild of Organists. Albany Recordings has released two CD’s by Dr. Weathersby. The first, entitled “Spiritual Fantasy”: A CD of Organ Works by African and African-American Composers, was released in the fall of 2000; the other, a CD of African and African-American composers for piano and flute with Flutist Wendy Hymes, was released in the spring of 2001. As a composer, Dr. Weathersby has shown great versatility in his works for organ and brass -- Fanfare (1993), choir -- Seven Last Words, (1994), chamber orchestra -- Suite in D (premiered by members of the Phoenix Symphony in 1996), piano -- Tranquility Suite, organ -- Spiritual Fantasy (premiered by the composer on the Fisk Organ at the Meyerson Center of the Performing Arts on January 19, 1997) as well as other compositions. “Flair and musicality” – “Virtuosity at his finger tips” – “Born performer” – represent just a few of the rave reviews Weathersby has received throughout the world. Dr. Weathersby was personable and shared a passion for bringing people together. He was particularly tireless working to congregate Africa-American and African music scholars and performers to promote composers of African origin or descent. Among many stellar achievements Dr. Weathersby takes his place in history as Co-Founder and Trustee of the International Consortium for the Music of Africa & its Diaspora.
Adapted from the Kingsdale
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Amherst College Press Release
March 17, 2006 Contact: Paul Statt
For immediate release Director of Media Relations
Amherst College Visiting Artist Dr. Lucius R. Weathersby Passes Away at Age 37
AMHERST, Mass. — Organist and composer Dr. Lucius R. Weathersby, a visiting artist at Amherst College and assistant professor of music and African world studies at Dillard University in New Orleans, died suddenly March 17. He was 37 years old. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, March 20, at the South Congregational Church at 45 Maple Street in Springfield, Mass. (One block south of State Street and the Quadrangle, www.sococh.org , 413/732-0117.) He is survived by a six-year-old son, Lucius Weathersby of New Orleans.
Weathersby came to Amherst in the fall of 2005 from Dillard University, which was recovering from Hurricane Katrina. Born April 8, 1968 in Houston and raised in Many, La., Weathersby performed in Europe, Central America, and throughout the United States. In addition to teaching and performing, Weathersby served as music director at the South Congregational Church in Springfield, Mass., and at churches in Louisiana, Iowa and Arizona. As director of music at the Church of the Beatitudes in Phoenix, Ariz., he founded a distinguished concert series. He also lectured extensively about African-American music, Baroque music and keyboard technique.
As conductor, Weathersby led numerous orchestral and vocal ensembles. While in Iowa, he conducted members of the Waterloo Cedar Falls Symphony. In Phoenix, the Sanctuary Choir of Church of the Beatitudes performed many major choral works with members of the Phoenix Symphony. In 1993, he was a guest conductor at the International Dvorak Festival. He also led the West Union Madrigal Singers in Dvorak’s Mass in D. In 1997, he was appointed assistant to Maestro Herriman and the San Marcos Symphony.
Educated at Dillard, where he received a B.A. degree in German and music in 1989, the University of Northern Iowa (M.Mus., 1999), the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and the Union Institute in Cincinnati (Ph.D., 2002), Weathersby lectured on such topics as Afro-American music, keyboard techniques and the music of the Baroque at Cambridge University, Yale University, the University of London and chapters of the American Guild of Organists.
Albany Recordings released Spiritual Fantasy Organ Works by African and African-American Composers in 2000 and a CD of African and African-American composers for piano and flute with flutist Wendy Hymes, in 2001.
As a composer, Weathersby showed versatility in his works for organ and brass—“Fanfare” for choir (1993), “Seven Last Words” for chamber orchestra (1994), “Suite in d” for piano (premiered by members of the Phoenix Symphony, 1996), “Tranquility Suite” for organ (1997), “Spiritual Fantasy” (premiered by the composer on the Fisk Organ at the Myerson Center of the Performing Arts, 1997) and other compositions.
Dr. Lucius Weathersby was not only an artist, performer and great lecturer, but also an outstanding man. His spirit, humility, smile and grace touched many lives, and will carry on in eternity.