Born a slave in North Carolina, Orpheus McAdoo went on to become a guiding force in the early evolution of South Africa's music, producing concerts that introduced black American music to South Africa in the 1890s. According to Dr. Patricia Gray, musical director of the Washington, D.C.-based chamber ensemble National Musical Arts: "This remarkable impresario helped transform South Africa's musical and political scene." A former member of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, McAdoo was a close friend of Booker T. Washington, co-founder of the NAACP, and John Dube, co-founder of the African National Congress. A graduate of Hampton Institute in Hampton, VA, McAdoo taught at the school in 1876. McAdoo's legacy was celebrated in a production, Africa! Spirit Ascending, presented at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater by National Musical Arts and the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music.
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