Congratulations on Celebrating a Historic Milestone!

Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity congratulates the National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM), Inc., on the occasion of its Centennial National Convention at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, beginning today, July 14, 2019. NANM celebrated 100 years of its fine work toward the preservation, encouragement and advocacy of all genres of the music of African-Americans on May 3, the date of its inaugural conference in Washington, D.C. under the leadership of Henry Grant and Nora Holt.

Over the years, NANM has awarded scholarships to many talented young musicians throughout the United States. The first scholarship winner, in 1919, was Marian Anderson, who received Sinfonia’s National Citation in 1975. Notable NANM scholarship recipients include William L. Dawson, Florence B. Price, Margaret Bonds, Warren George Wilson, James Frazier, Julia Perry, Grace Bumbry, Leon Bates, Joseph Joubert, and Awadagin Pratt.

Pictured: Nora Holt, NANM's founding vice president, as well as composer, music critic, socialite, and the first African-American woman to receive a master's degree in the United States.

The Centennial Convention this year will feature the NANM Institute, which offers a full program of wonderful lectures, workshops, performance and master classes featuring some of the finest American musicians ever assembled. We are particularly pleased that Brother George Shirley will be conducting the William Warfield vocal master class this year. Brother Shirley was initiated at the Gamma Omicron Chapter at Wayne State University in 1953 and was bestowed the title of Signature Sinfonian in 2013. Brother Warfield received the Fraternity’s Charles E. Lutton Man of Music Award in 1976 and graced the Fraternity with memorable performances at the 1976, 1982 and 1997 National Conventions.

We congratulate National President Byron J. Smith and the members of NANM on this important milestone in the organization’s history and recognize the many Sinfonian Brothers who have worked with the organization and continue to support its mission today. The Fraternity salutes NANM for its significant contributions to the advancement of music in America and offers our best wishes for a successful Centennial Convention.

NANM Purposes

  • The promotion of the music and the development of knowledge and appreciation of music composed by all persons, but especially those of African descent.

  • The establishment of a library where Afro-American historical information concerning composers, artists, and musicians who have contributed to the cultural and fine arts of Black people can be gathered for compilation and publication.
  • To afford a central location for the gathering and/or purchase of library collections of sheet music, compositions, and original documents from which out-of-print works may be compiled for historic use; to conduct research on the works of composers and artists of African descent and to publish or copyright the results of such research.
  • To establish a scholarship and grant on national, regional, and local levels to assist talented youth in the field of musical and/or cultural arts in education. 
  • To foster a broader understanding of the contributions of persons of African descent in all fields of music and in the cultural arts.

Sinfonian Influence in NANM

We would like to recongnize and thank those Brothers for their service as past Presidents of the National Association of Negro Musicians, and for their work and commitment to the Fraternity’s Object.

Dr. Kenneth Billups
(Served 1960 – 1965)

Zeta Xi Chapter
Lincoln University

William C. Warfield
(Served 1985 – 1990)

Delta Lambda Chapter
Ball State University

Dr. Uzee Brown, Jr.
(Served 1996 – 2002)

Xi Eta Chapter
Morehouse College

Dr. Roland Carter
(Served 2002 – 2008)

Alpha Alpha Chapter
National Honorary

Centennial Convention

Attendees have the opportunity to participate in workshops, seminars, lectures, discussions, masterclasses, and various musical performances.  The national round of our annual scholarship competition is also held at the convention, as well as various events honoring the music legends and trailblazers within the organization.