On Sunday, Dr. Roland Carter hurried back to Chattanooga from an out-of-town engagement to conduct a closing performance by the Chattanooga Choral Society for the Preservation of African American Song during the Big 9 Roots Festival. A hometown treasure, the renown conductor, composer, and pianist has directed the local Choral Society for over 20 years.
Clearly unknowing and to his surprise, Dr. Carter was presented with proclamations from both the City of Chattanooga and Hamilton County governments; And…. a commemorative street sign display by University of Tennessee at Chattanooga officials to be placed on a portion of Vine Street on the campus of UTC where (prior to retirement) he served as the Ruth S. Holmberg Professor of American Music!
Dr. Carter, in his usual humble demeanor, reflected on his life’s journey and choosing to leave his beloved position at Hampton University and taking the position as head of music at UTC …. where not so long ago…. he could not even attend the then segregated institution!