Grace Cumbry Research Paper

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Grace Bumbry is an American opera singer, is considered one of the leading mezzo-sopranos of her generation, as well as a major soprano for many years. African-American singer Grace Bumbry, born on January 4, 1937, in St. Louis, Missouri, is one of the leading opera voices of her generation. After Grace Bumbry studying in Boston, Chicago, and Santa Barbara, California, Bumbry made her opera debut at the age of 23. She performed around the world and mastered the great mezzo-soprano and soprano roles in the classical opera repertoire in a career that spanned nearly 40 years. She was the youngest child of James Bumbry, a freight worker, and Melzia née Walker Bumbry, a homemaker. Bumbry, her parents and her two brothers all sang in the choir at their church.
When Grace attended Summer High School in St. Louis, she was mentored by Kenneth Brown Billups, well-known as African-American choir director and musician. In the year 1952, at the age of 17, she won a teenage contest on a St. Louis radio station. Graces prize included a scholarship to a local conservatory; however, the school was unwilling to admit to a black student. Grace enrolled at the college at Boston University where she studied for over two year before transferring to this other college called Northwestern University in Chicago. At the college Northwestern Grace met the opera star and the
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in St. Louis. She joined the Union Memorial Methodist Church’s choir at eleven, and sang at Sumner High School. She was a 1954 winner on the "Arthur Godfrey Talent Scouts." After her concert debut in London in 1959, Bumbry debuted with the Paris Opera the next year. In 1961 Richard Wagner’s grandson featured her in Bayreuth, Germany’s Wagner Festival. The first black to sing there, Bumbry was an international sensation and won the Wagner Medal. A mezzo-soprano who also successfully sang the soprano repertoire, Grace Bumbry recorded on four labels and sang in concerts

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