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​Dr. Laura J. Keith

Dr. Keith is energetic, insightful, and dedicated to helping her students reach their full musical potential. She possess an unconditional commitment to teaching which motivates students to strive for excellence.

Biography

As an experienced public school music educator teaching first thru twelfth grades, with a distinguished record of accomplishments, Dr. Keith is very much interested in spreading her knowledge of music education to her students. 

Dr. Laura J. Keith is an accomplished music educator, having taught elementary general music and as a middle and high school choral director. She currently serves as Associate Professor of Music at Claflin University, Orangeburg, South Carolina, teaching music education, piano, and honors thesis. Recently, Dr. Keith has been awarded a grant from the Humanities Council SC and has presented lecture-recital series in the spring of 2013. Prior to joining Claflin, Dr. Keith was the Choral Director at Westside High School where her students performed for the school, the community, participated in the South Carolina All-State Chorus and choral festivals in Florida, New York, New Orleans, and the Bahamas. She has served as the middle school clinician for Richland County School District One in Columbia, South Carolina, Spartanburg District Number Seven in Spartanburg, South Carolina and the Lower Region High School Choral Festival at Claflin University, Orangeburg, South Carolina. She was voted “Teacher of the Year” for Anderson School District Number Five in Anderson, South Carolina, 1980.

Several of her former students are presently music teachers on various levels. During the fall of 2001, she traveled to the People’s Republic of China as a guest lecturer and spent two weeks in Beijing teaching courses on American music at Capital Normal University. Dr. Keith received the Bachelor of Music Education degree from Howard University, Washington, DC, the Master of Music Education degree, and the Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education degree from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina. She is a member of College Music Society and National Association for Music Education.

Education

  • Bachelor of Music Education, Howard University, Washington, DC
  • Master of Music Education, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

Research Interests

  • Developing good choral music education for public school students
  • History of African Americans and their influence on American music

Experience

Richland County School District One Middle School Honors Chorus, Columbia, South Carolina, January 2008

Elementary Choral Music Clinic, District Five, Orangeburg, South Carolina, May 2007

Richland County School District One Middle School Honors Chorus, Columbia, South Carolina, March 2001

SATB Middle School Choral Clinic, Spartanburg, South Carolina, March 2001

Accompanist for Lower Region Choral Festival, Claflin University, Orangeburg, South Carolina, February 2001

Richland County School District One Middle School Honors Chorus, Columbia, South Carolina, April 2000

Activities and Honors

  • Recipient of the Teacher Incentive Pay Program Award 1988
  • Teacher of the Year 1981 Southwood Junior High School Anderson, South Carolina
  • Teacher of the Year 1981-1982 Anderson School District Number Five Anderson, South Carolina

Recent Publications

December 2016, Music Educators Journal, Cultural Diversity: Resources for Music Educators in Selected Works of Three Contemporary African American Classical Composers

In process of publication: Anthology: Songs of Freedom in a Strange Land: African American Music at Home and Abroad. Chapter 3: Concert Music of the West (Europe and America):

Article title: Maud Cuney-Hare: African American Classical Musician and Historian in Boston, Massachusetts

Writer of article: Dr. Laura J. Keith

Claflin University

Recent Presentations

Lecture-Recital, Spiritual Festival, Songs of the Civil Rights Movement, Detroit, Michigan, February 2016

Lecture-Recital, African American Music in World Culture: Art as Refuge and Strength in the Struggle for Freedom, an International Conference. Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, “Exploring South Carolina African American Composers’ Classical Music, “ featuring the composers, Dr. Cedric Adderley, Dr. John Lane, and Dr. Trevor Weston, March 21, 2014

Lecture-Recital, African American Music in World Culture: Art as Refuge and Strength in the Struggle for Freedom, An International Conference. Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, “Maud Cuney-Hare, African American Classical Musician and Historian in Boston, MA.” By Laura J. Keith, March 22, 2014.

Lecture-Recital, South Carolina Music Educators Association, Charleston, South Carolina, “Contributions of South Carolina’s African American Classical Composers,” featuring the composers, Dr. Cedric Adderley, Dr. John Lane, and Dr. Trevor Weston, February 6 – 8, 2014

Lecture-Recital, The College Music Society Great Plains Chapter 33rd regional Conference, Liberty, Missouri, “Contributions of Contemporary African American Classical Composers,” featuring the composers, Dr. Cedric Adderley, Dr. John Lane, and Dr. Trevor Weston, March 7 – 8, 2014

Lecture-recital, “Jazz Duets for Intermediate Pianists,” featuring Laura J. Keith and Eunjung Choi, Greenville Woman’s Music Club, Greenville, South Carolina, May 3, 2014.

Lecture-Recital, Anderson University, Anderson, South Carolina, “Contemporary African American Classical Composers from South Carolina,” featuring the composers, Dr. Cedric Adderley, Dr. John Lane, and Dr. Trevor Weston, August 28, 2013

Lecture-Recital, Claflin University, Orangeburg, South Carolina, “Contemporary African American Classical Composers from South Carolina,” featuring the composers, Dr. Cedric Adderley, Dr. John Lane, and Dr. Trevor Weston, August 26, 2013

Lecture-Recital, Christ Episcopal Church, Lancaster, South Carolina, “Contemporary African American Classical Composers from South Carolina,” featuring the composers, Dr. Cedric Adderley, Dr. John Lane, and Dr. Trevor Weston, August 24, 2013

Lecture-Recital, South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, Greenville, South Carolina, “Contemporary African American Classical Composers from South Carolina,” featuring the composers, Dr. Cedric Adderley, Dr. John Lane, and Dr. Trevor Weston, August 22, 2013

Lecture-Recital, The National Association of Negro Musicians’ Conference, Nashville, Tennessee, “Contemporary African American Classical Composers from South Carolina,” featuring the composers, Dr. Cedric Adderley, Dr. John Lane, and Dr. Trevor Weston, July 29, 2013

Lecture-Recital, Claflin University, Orangeburg, South Carolina, “African American Classical Composers from South Carolina,” featuring the composer, Dr. Cedric Adderley, April 2013

Lecture-Recital, Benedict College, Columbia, South Carolina, “African American Classical Composers from South Carolina,” featuring the composer, Dr. John Lane, February 2013

Lecture-Recital, Bob Jones University, Greenville, South Carolina “African American Classical Composers from South Carolina,” featuring the composer, Dr. Trevor Weston, January 2013

Lecture/performance, Claflin University, Orangeburg, South Carolina” African American Woman Composer and Arranger, Maud Cuney Hare, February 2010

North Carolina Music Educators Conference, Winston Salem, North Carolina, “America’s Early Black Music Historians,” November 2009

Lecture/performance, University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio, African American Women Composers and Arrangers, October 2009

South Carolina Music Educators Conference, Charleston, South Carolina, “America’s Early Black Music Historians,” February 2006

Presentation at National Association of African American Studies, “Concert Music of African American Composers,” Houston, Texas, February 2002

Lecture/Class (Two weeks), Capital Normal University, “History of American Music,” Beijing, China, 2002

Lecture/Class on National Standards, Orangeburg, South Carolina and Clarendon, South Carolina, 2000 – 2001

Dr. Laura Keith
​Dr. Laura J. Keith
Associate Professor of Music
  • School of Humanities & Social Sciences
Contact
Music Building, 205
803-535-5298