Dr. Doris Evans McGinty


Dr. Doris Evans McGinty

Professor Emerita Doris Valean Evans McGinty taught in the Department of Music at Howard University for forty-three years, beginning in 1947, and served as its Chair for eight. Her academic training includes undergraduate study at Howard University (B. Mus. Ed; B.A.), and further study at Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts (M.A.), and Oxford University in England (D. Phil.). She is credited with being the first American to receive the doctorate in musicology from Oxford University.

As a scholar, Dr. McGinty has concentrated upon and continues to focus her work upon contributions of black American musicians, giving special attention to Washington, D.C. artists and the culture of this city, the black musical comedy of the early twentieth century and the Howard Theatre, and the growth of music study at Howard University. She has contributed articles to scholarly journals and to reference works such as the New Grove Dictionary of American Music, and Musik in Geischichte und Gegenwart, (rev. Edition), Black Women in American Music, and the American Dictionary of Negro Biography, The Black Perspective in Music, Journal of Negro Education, Journal of Negro History, Music Educators Journal, Fontes Artis Musicae, and American Music. She was a contributing editor to the periodical The Black Perspective in Music from 1975 to 1991.

Among her publications of the last five years are the chapters of Coleridge-Taylor’s visits to Washington, D.C., Black Music Research Journal, vol. 22, no. 1 (Fall 2002) and (with co-author Wayne Shirley) on Paul Robeson in Paul Robeson, Artist and Citizen (Rutgers University Press, 1998). Most recently, Dr. McGinty co-edited with the late Eileen Southern a book entitled National Association of Negro Musicians: a Documentary History (Center for Black Music Research, 2003).

Other scholarly activities include acting as consultant for the Washington-related documentary films Lillian Evanti (1988) concerning the life of the operatic star (HU 1917); Jessye Norman (1989), BBC tribute to the world-class soprano (HU 1967), and Southwest Remembered (1990), a documentary relating the effects of urban renewal upon the city; lecturing and participating in conferences of scholarly organizations at other universities; serving as Guest Coordinator in the Smithsonian Institution Program for Black American Culture (1989). In addition,she has served on the boards of such organizations as National Symphony Orchestra Outreach Committee (1977-1983); WETA-Educational TV (1979-1985)l; and the Advisory Board of the Journal of American Music.

Her honors and awards include election to Pi Kappa Lambda, national music honor society; Fulbright Fellows (1950, 1951); General Education Board Grant (1951), selection as a Phelps-Stokes Caribbean Exchange Scholar (1974) and research awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities (1984, 1987, 1991), and recognition of Outstanding Service to the Promotion of Music Education by the National Association for the Study and Performance of African-American Music (1999). She is a charter member of the Howard University Delta Nu chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota sorority.
As a teacher, part of Dr. McGinty’s assignment at Howard was to teach required courses in the history of music. Consequently, she had contact with most of the undergraduate students in the field of music and is able to look with pride at the successful music educators, musicologists, ethnomusicologists and performers in whose training she assisted. She is also proud of her role in the preparation of Liner Notes for the Howard University Jazz Ensemble albums, a role which she began in 1976 and continues today.

Dr. McGinty is married to Milton O. McGinty, Washington businessman, playwright and owner of the Takoma Theater. She is the mother of Derek G. McGinty, Washington,DC based CBS television journalist; Dana W. McGinty, M.D., Washington,DC Internist, and Lisa M. Toppin, Director, Human Resources at Charles Schwab and Company, San Francisco, California.