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H. Leslie Adams

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Information about H. Leslie Adams

Profile image of H. Leslie Adams

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Music Professor
Music Composer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Seafood
Favorite Time of Year:
Winter
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Lily Dale, New York
Favorite Quote:
Let There Be Joy.

Birthplace

Born:
12/30/1932
Birth Location:
Cleveland, Ohio

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Music Professor
Music Composer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Seafood
Favorite Time of Year:
Winter
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Lily Dale, New York
Favorite Quote:
Let There Be Joy.

Birthplace

Born:
12/30/1932
Birth Location:
Cleveland
See how H. Leslie Adams is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Composer, pianist, educator and arts advocate H. Leslie Adams, was born in Cleveland, Ohio on December 30, 1932. Adams attended the Cleveland public schools and graduated from Glenville High School. He studied voice, piano, and composition at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, where he earned his bachelor’s of music degree in 1955. He went on to earn a master’s degree in music from the California State University at Long Beach in 1967 and his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in 1973. He also completed additional studies in composition with Edward Mattila, Eugene O’Brien, and Marcel Dick from 1978 to 1983.

Adams has worked as piano accompanist for ballet and other dance companies and choral music ensembles. He served as the associate musical director at Cleveland’s Karamu House from 1964 to 1965 and became the musical director for the Kaleidoscope Players in Ration, New Mexico in 1967. Adams later returned to Karamu House as their composer in residence in 1979 and then served as guest composer at Cuyahoga Community College in 1980. He then served as composer-in-residence at the Cleveland Music School Settlement from 1981 to 1982, and was the founder and president of Accord Associates, Inc. for six years beginning in 1980, and the executive vice-president and composer-in-residence for Accord from 1986 to 1992. He has served as the president and artist-in-residence for Creative Arts, Inc. since 1997.

Adams held teaching positions at Soehl Junior High School, Linden, N.J., in the secondary schools of Raton, New Mexico, Florida A & M University, and at the University of Kansas at Lawrence. He is the recipient of numerous commissions, including those from the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the University of Kansas, and the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra. He is the recipient of honors and awards from the National Association of Negro Women, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Cleveland Foundation and the Jennings Foundation, among others.

He holds life memberships in Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Phi Delta Kappa, Pi Kappa Lambda, the American Choral Directors Association, and the American Guild of Organists. He has also served on the Advisory Council of the Musical Arts Association of the Cleveland Orchestra.

Adams resides in Cleveland’s Glenville Community.

H. Leslie Adams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 17, 2004.

See how H. Leslie Adams is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of H. Leslie Adams' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - H. Leslie Adams lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - H. Leslie Adams talks about his mother and her education at Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - H. Leslie Adams describes his mother's experiences as a domestic worker
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - H. Leslie Adams talks about his father, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - H. Leslie Adams talks about his father, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - H. Leslie Adams gives a timeline of his parents' courtship and talks about growing up as an only child
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - H. Leslie Adams talks about his elementary and secondary schooling in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - H. Leslie Adams recalls teachers who supported his musical development
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - H. Leslie Adams remembers his parents' and teachers' support for his interest in pursuing music
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - H. Leslie Adams talks about his appreciation for varied music and movies
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - H. Leslie Adams describes his admissions audition for Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - H. Leslie Adams describes courses he took at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio and the atmosphere on campus
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - H. Leslie Adams talks about lessons he learned about composition from Herbert Elwell at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - H. Leslie Adams talks about his religious upbringing
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - H. Leslie Adams recalls attending chapel and the political climate at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - H. Leslie Adams describes his worldview, having been raised in a racially harmonious community
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - H. Leslie Adams describes the quality of his education at Glenville High School in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - H. Leslie Adams recalls his childhood holiday traditions
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - H. Leslie Adams talks about working during his breaks from college and his mother's work as a crossing guard
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - H. Leslie Adams talks about a cousin who was prolific in the arts, Frederick O'Neal
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - H. Leslie Adams recalls moving to New York, New York after graduating from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - H. Leslie Adams talks about teaching music in Linden, New Jersey
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - H. Leslie Adams describes what attracted him to New York, New York
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - H. Leslie Adams talks about returning to Cleveland, Ohio to play for Karamu House
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - H. Leslie Adams recalls his move to southern California for graduate school at California State College at Long Beach
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - H. Leslie Adams talks about a single-performance production that he conceived of and directed as a student at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - H. Leslie Adams talks about his projects after completing his M.A. degree
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - H. Leslie Adams talks about incorporating social issues and figures into his compositions
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - H. Leslie Adams talks about teaching vocal music in Raton, New Mexico
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - H. Leslie Adams talks about restructuring the vocal music program in Raton, New Mexico and producing a Christmas concert
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - H. Leslie Adams talks about his method for working with choirs
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - H. Leslie Adams talks about leaving Raton, New Mexico to work as musical director for 'Lost in the Stars'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - H. Leslie Adams describes his experience as a Ph.D. student at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - H. Leslie Adams talks about courses he took with Keith Mixter as a Ph.D. student at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - H. Leslie Adams talks about his musical journey and his support systems
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - H. Leslie Adams talks about his dissertation
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - H. Leslie Adams talks about being hired to teach at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - H. Leslie Adams talks about concerts he staged while teaching at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas and finishing his dissertation
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - H. Leslie Adams talks about going to Italy while on sabbatical, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - H. Leslie Adams talks about going to Italy while on sabbatical, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - H. Leslie Adams talks about his decision to become a full-time composer in 1979
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - H. Leslie Adams talks about returning to Cleveland, Ohio to work on an opera and participating in Yaddo artists retreat in Saratoga Springs, New York
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - H. Leslie Adams details the storyline of his opera, 'Blake'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - H. Leslie Adams talks about Accord Associates
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - H. Leslie Adams talks about how his music is disseminated
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - H. Leslie Adams talks about how the launch of Sputnik 1 shifted the focus away from arts education
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - H. Leslie Adams talks about his reticence to seek governmental support for his compositions and how he follows the news
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - H. Leslie Adams talks about his creative process
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - H. Leslie Adams offers advice to young composers and expresses worry about the effects of loud music on hearing
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - H. Leslie Adams explains why he participated in The HistoryMakers interview and reflects upon how religious traditions are built
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - H. Leslie Adams talks about progress towards LGBTQ and women's rights
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - H. Leslie Adams reflects upon his life philosophy and what he tries to convey in his music
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - H. Leslie Adams performs one of his own compositions
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - H. Leslie Adams narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - H. Leslie Adams narrates his photographs, pt. 2