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Twaddell Music School Collection

Title: Twaddell Music School Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1923-1960
Extent of Materials: 1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Location: NC 2nd floor storage room, Shelf 50
Abstract: The Twaddell Music School Collection contains photographs, clippings, and miscellaneous material related to the lives and careers of William P. Twaddell and wife Vera Carr Twaddell and a music school which Mrs. Twaddell operated in Durham from 1934 to 1966.
Scope and Content: Photographs, clippings, and other materials in the collection provide an important record of the cultural life of Durham from the 1920s to the 1960s. Unfortunately, many Twaddell students pictured in photographs are unidentified. A few clippings and photographs are related to one of the school’s most accomplished students, opera singer Lucille Brown. She married Robert D. Somers and became known by the stage name Lucielle Browning in the Metropolitan Opera during the 1930s and 1940s.
In addition to this collection, there are a number of photographs from the Carr and Twaddell families in the Durham County Library’s photograph archives. Many of the photographs from the collection can be viewed online here:
Restrictions: The collection is open for research
Biographical Note: William Powell Twaddell, a native of Philadelphia, became director of music in Durham City Schools in 1921 at a time when music education in public schools was expanding, especially in cities. He also became organist at Durham’s First Presbyterian Church. From 1924 to 1946 he led a Durham Junior Choir, which included opera singer Lucille Brown Somers. He died in 1949.
Vera Carr Twaddell was a native of Durham, daughter of William A. and Jennie Lyon Carr. From 1926 to 1933 she was music director for Durham County Schools. She opened a primary school in 1934. This school became a music school, which Mrs. Twaddell operated until 1966. She took high school glee clubs to state competitions and began the Durham Junior Choir that husband William P. Twaddell conducted.
Container List: Shelf Location Box # Description/Dates Dates
Office-23 1 Carr, Vera, children’s bible
Office-23 1 Clippings 1937-1953, n.d.
Office-23 1 Clippings-memorials to W. P. Twaddell 1949
Office-23 1 Photograph-May Day program
Office-23 1 Photographs-Southern Choral School, N.C. Woman’s College, Greensboro,
Office-23 1 Photographs-Student choral performances ca. 1940-1960
Office-23 1 Photographs-Students in seasonal costumes ca. 1950
Office-23 1 Photographs-Twaddell Choir School 1923-1946
Office-23 1 School history
Office-23 1 Twaddell, Vera Carr
Office-23 1 Twaddell, William P., Civic Honor Award 1934
Office-23 1 Twaddell, William P., composition, “Everywhere, Everywhere, Christmas, Tonight”
Office-23 1 Twaddell, William P., composition, “Everywhere, Everywhere, Christmas, Tonight”
Office-23 1 Twaddell, William Powell