Scholarship Benefit Concert Helps Continue the Legacy of William Warfield

updated December 22, 2009

December 14, 2009

More Information:
For Media Only: Helene Snihur (585-274-1057,
For The Public: 585-274-1110

An annual concert that supports the William Warfield Scholarship Fund and continues the legacy of one of the great vocal artists of the 20th century will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 10, 2010, in the Eastman School of Music’s Kilbourn Hall.

The William Warfield Scholarship Fund has provided financial aid to more than 35 talented and deserving voice students at the Eastman School since it was founded in 1977. Scholarship recipients have included the first recipient, baritone Derrick Smith, who has performed in operatic roles and as a concert soloist in the United States, Brazil, and Europe; and soprano Nicole Cabell, who in 2005 won the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition, one of the music world’s highest-profile competitions.

“The Fund helps provide the financial means for singers to receive the training they need to be successful in their field,” said Michael Warfield, vice president of the William Warfield Scholarship Fund and a nephew of the acclaimed star. “The Fund also keeps alive Uncle Bill’s legacy as a singer, orator, teacher, and mentor so that others locally and worldwide will be inspired and commit to pursue their dreams and their education.”

The concert will feature this year’s scholarship recipient, bass-baritone Jamal Moore, a sophomore at the Eastman School of Music and a native of Augusta, Ga., where he performed with various ensembles and churches. In 2008, Moore held the title of State Champion for Boy’s Solo Region 3-AAA. At Eastman, he studies with Professor Jan Opalach and received the freshman jury award. Also performing in the William Warfield Scholarship Fund concert will be Derrick Smith, the Mt. Olivet Male Chorus, and the School 19 Violinists.

William Warfield was known worldwide for his work as a soloist, recitalist, actor, and narrator. Born in Arkansas, he moved to Rochester with his family as a young boy and attended Rochester city schools. During his senior year, he won the National Music Educators League Competition and a full scholarship to any American music school of his choice. Warfield chose the Eastman School of Music, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 1942 and 1946, respectively. Perhaps best known for his portrayals of Porgy in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and of Joe, the dock hand, in the movie Showboat, he won a Grammy Award in 1984 for his narration of Aaron Copland’s A Lincoln Portrait accompanied by the Eastman Philharmonia. Warfield died in 2002 at the age of 82.

Tickets to the “William Warfield: A Legacy of Music” concert are $15 and are available at the door; through the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Box Office at 108 East Ave. or (585) 454-2100; or online at or

More information about William Warfield, the William Warfield Scholarship Fund, and scholarship recipients is available at

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Calendar Listing:
Sunday, Jan. 10
4 p.m.
“William Warfield: A Legacy of Music,” an annual fundraising concert for the William Warfield Scholarship Fund, with Jamal Moore, Derrick Smith, Mt. Olivet Male Chorus, and School 19 violinists.
Kilbourn Hall, 26 Gibbs St.
Tickets: $15, available at the door; through the RPO Box Office, 108 East Ave., or (585) 454-2100; or online at or More information is available at