Music has occupied a central role in the Fisk experience since the
University’s opening in 1866. The Fisk Jubilee Singers’® first historic
tour established a reputation for excellence in musical performance and
preserved the rich heritage of the Negro Spiritual. Today, Fisk
continues to provide students the opportunity to develop individual
talent, appreciation, and aesthetic sensibility. The Fisk University
Music Department is accredited by the National Association of Schools
With full-time faculty for brass, organ, piano, voice, and woodwind
instruction, the department has a sound history of combining
conservatory-style training with African-American traditional music,
and provides excellent education with a broad-based technical
competency and proficiency in preparing students for careers in music.
Strong leadership qualities and personal and musical growth are
nurtured by the provision of a creative atmosphere.
The acclaimed composer-musicologists John W. Work Sr., John W.
Work Jr., and John W. Work III were Fisk alumni and members of the
faculty. Dr. Joyce Bolden ’53 became the first African-American woman
to serve on the Commission for Accreditation of the National
Association of Schools of Music, Dr. Kaye George Roberts ‘71, the first
African-American woman to complete the orchestral conducting program at