|AUGUST 1998 IN MEMORIAM|
ASHENAFI KEBEDE IS REMEMBERED
By Dale A. Olsen
FSU professor of music
Dr. Ashenafi Kebede, one of Ethiopia's greatest cultural treasures-composer, conductor, ethnomusicologist, historical musicologist, music educator, novelist and poet - died May 8, at age 60.
Dr. Kebede received degrees in musicology from Eastman School of Music in 1962 and Wesleyan University (M.A. in 1969 and Ph.D. in 1971).
Between his undergraduate and graduate degrees he founded the National Saint Yared School of Music in Ethiopia, serving as its first director between 1963 and 1968.
In 1967 he was designated a "National Composer" by Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I.
Shortly thereafter he began his graduate study in the United States, and earned Wesleyan's first Ph.D. in ethnomusicology.
After several years teaching at Queens College, The City University of New York and Brandeis University, Dr. Kebede joined Florida State University as director of the Center for Black Culture (later the Center for African American Culture). He also became a tenured professor in the School of Music.
His accomplishments ranged from achievements in academia to music and art.
He sponsored a multitude of dramatic presentations, concerts and art exhibits, all receiving excellent reviews and often characterized by standing-room-only attendance.
Ashenafi was a prolific writer, and his works include a novel (Confession, published in 1964), articles in ethnomusicology journals, a book entitled Roots of Black Music and numerous articles in The Chronicler (the magazine of the Center for African American Culture, which he edited).
As a composer, Dr. Kebede had high esteem in international circles.
One of his favorite techniques was to join Ethiopian and Japanese musical ideas; Koturasia is one of those masterpieces, written for flute, clarinet, violin, and Japanese koto.
Born in 1938 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Ashenafi learned about life and its creative potential from his mother, a compassionate and artistic person who wrote beautiful semi-sacred verse and poetry, and recited from memory several of Saint Yared's melodies.
His mother died when Ashenafi was 9 years old, creating in him a great sadness, as he explained: "I am now over 50 and I have not yet overcome my sadness from her death. I am still heart-broken. That is undoubtedly why everything that I compose is melancholic."
Those of us who knew and worked closely with Ashenafi Kebede are saddened over his early death. He was a kind, considerate and loving person who always had a smile for his friends. He gave much and had much to offer.
1920 - '29
Cecelia Wahnish Shopiro (B.A. '28)
1930 - '39
Elsie Causier (B.S. '31), Jessie Shaw Bates (A.B. '33), Mary Isabelle Van Voorhis King (B.S. '33), Susie Cooksey King (B.A. '34), Sarah Railey Miles (B.A. '34), Catherine Burns Hayes (B.S. '35), Rebecca L. "Becky Lou" Rickards Hopkins (B.A. '35), Mary Veach Frank (B.S. '37), Marjorie Tillis Lansing (B.A. '37), Frances E. Poole (B.A. '39)
1940 - '49
Dr. Mary Case Gray (B.S. '41), Mary Schwab Jones (B.S. '42), Charlotte E. Cooper (B.M. '43), Dorothy Altman Polk (B.A. '43), Joyce L. Funke, M.D. (B.S. '46), Barbara M. Conine (B.S. '48), Mary J. Livingston (B.S. '48, M.S. '50), Martha Granger Godwin (B.A. '49), Eva Trice McKenzie (B.A. '49), Blanche Willson Sapp (A.B. '49)
1950 - '59
John K. Anderson (B.S. '50), Levina Santarone Phillips (B.S. '50, M.S. '59), George H. Stembridge (B.S. '50), Arlon R. McCarty (B.S. '51), June Smith Stillman (B.A. '51, M.A. '66), Rudolph J. Susege (B.S. '52), Jewell Ayers Forte (B.S. '53), Morton H. Bailey (M.S. '54), Nancy Palmer Tucker (B.S. '55), Carlos H. Watson (B.S. '56), Roy L. Hyatt (B.S. '57), Paul F. McCartney (B.S. '57), Nita Bowman McDonough (B.S. '58), William P. McGlaughon III (B.S. '59)
1960 - '69
George L. Hicks Jr. (B.A. '60), Tony L. Romeo (B.S. '60), Cleo Barber Tyson (M.S. '60), Richard D. Davidson (M.S. '62), Beverly Sprung Townsend (B.S. '63), Meta Shaw Coleman (M.S. '64), Betty Snider Gray (B.S. '64), Thomas J. Ward (M.A. '67), William C. White (M.S. '68, Ph.D. '70), Bernard D. Zavish (B.S. '69, M.B.A. '70)
1970 - '79
The Rev. Susan J. Frye (B.S. '73), Dr. Elaine Rush Johansen (M.S. '73, Ph.D. '76), Queen E. Bryant (B.A. '74), Alfred Washington (J.D. '74), Donald W. Fabisiak (B.M.E. '76), Robert K. Crampton (B.S. '77), George F. Ralph (Ph.D. '77), Stephen A. Wilder (B.S. '77), Karen Jones Arnold (B.A. '78, B.S. '82), Cynthia Caruso Posani (B.A. '78), Bruce F. Zeitler (B.A. '78, M.S. '79), Jefferson D. Hendricks (B.S. '78)
1980 - '89
Sharon K. Cottrell (B.S. '81), Debora Gray Gradall (B.S.N. '81), Barbara A. Oliver (Ph.D. '84), Catherine C. Bennett (B.S. '85), William L. Carroll (B.S. '86), Janet V. Everheart-Clark (B.S. '88), Michael D. Leighty (B.S. '88)
1990 - '99
Michael B. Cantrell (B.S. '94),
LaVerle Dews (attended but did not graduate)
Dr. Agnes Gregory was a faculty member from 1945 to 1974. She taught in the School of Library and Information Studies.
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