Harold Leonard Anthony, Sr.
1928 - 2008
Harold Leonard Anthony, Sr., choir director and songwriter, directed the Oakwood College (now University) Choir and the Aeolians, the select touring choir at the school, from 1965-1968 and again in 1970-1973. When he returned from a two-year study leave in 1970, he directed both choirs for two years, before turning over leadership of the Aeolians to Alma Blackmon in 1973. He also chaired the music department in the opening years of that decade.
Harold, born on October 16, 1928, in Marshall, Texas, the son of Ida Langston and Charlie Williams and was adopted at an early age by Emanuel and Roberta Anthony. Following graduation from high school, he started his education at Fisk University in Nashville and, after serving in the U.S. Army, completed a B.A. in music at Pacific Union College in 1956. Subsequent study led to completion of an M.A. in music and the earning of a Professional Diploma in music and music education at Columbia University Teachers College in New York.
Prior to coming to OC, he chaired the music program and directed the choral program at Pine Forge Academy in Pennsylvania, where he toured extensively with his groups. He also wrote the words and music for the PFA school song, My Alma Mater.
In his years at OC, Anthony traveled widely with the choirs, taking a tour to California in 1967. While at OC, he presided over a threefold increase in voice students in the music program. He also arranged the OC school song, "To Thee Our Dear Oakwood."
After retiring from OC, he taught part-time at Calhoun Community College and privately in his home. Anthony and his wife, Nell Frances Rice, an educator, were living in the Huntsville, Alabama, area at the time of his death on June 30, 1976, at age 79. He is remembered for his commitment to excellence, sense of humor, and ability to communicate.
Sources: Roy E. Malcolm, editor, 1999, Oakwood College Publishing Association, The Aeolians, Directors recall Precious Memories, pg. 26; Death announcement by Pine Forge Academy, July4, 2008; Harold L. Anthony, Jr., "On the River Manatawny . . . A Tribute to Dr. Harold L. Anthony," Oakwood College Midyear Board Report, August 2008, pg. 3.