Noel DaCosta

1929 - 2002


Noel DaCosta (1929-2002), co-founder of the Society of Black Composers, spent his early school years in the West Indies and New York City. He received a B.A. in Music (1952) from Queens College, New York City, and an M.A. in theory and composition (1956) from Columbia University, He received a Seidl Fellowship in composition and a Fulbright Fellowship to study with Luigi Dallapiccola in Italy. He began teaching in 1961 at Hampton University in Hampton, Va., and later taught at Hunter College and Queens College in New York before joining the faculty of Rutgers in New Brunswick, N.J., in 1970.  He retired from Rutgers in 2001.  Da Costa wrote music that drew from the American classical tradition, spirituals and African folk music. He also set poems by Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Countee Cullen and others. Among his works are: "Two Pieces for Unaccompanied Cello," "Blue Mix," "Silver Blue," "Three Short Pieces for Alto Flute," "The Singing Tortoise," and "Two Songs for Julie-Ju."

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