DU Special Collections

Oral history interview with Brazeal Dennard

Oral history interview with Brazeal Dennard
Dennard, Brazeal W.
Sound Recording, Sound Recording
electronic, digitized other analog
Brazeal Dennard recounts the meaning of spirituals in his life from growing up in Michigan, attending music school at Wayne State University, performing as a singer, and forming the Brazeal Dennard Chorale in Detroit, Mich. in 1972. He describes the components of this organization that include not only a professional chorale, but also youth and community chorales. He discusses the relationship of gospel music to spirituals and the issue of the folk spiritual vs. the concertized spiritual. He also addresses how he sees the spiritual affecting 21st century music., Brazeal Dennard was born in 1929, grew up in Detroit, Mich., and was given private music lessons by many music professionals. He attended Wayne State University earning a Master's Degree in Music Education. During his career, he has served as educator, guest conductor, lecturer, and church choirmaster, and is retired supervisor of music for the Detroit Public Schools. In 1972 he formed the Brazeal Dennard Chorale, and in 1985 added a community outreach component, the Brazeal Dennard Community Chorus, along with a youth education component, the Brazeal Dennard Youth Chorale. He has been affiliated with many organizations including the National Endowment of the Arts, National Association of Negro Musicians, and has served on the Board of Directors of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra., Conducted Aug. 5, 1999, in Houston, TX at the National Association of Negro Musicians Convention.