PITTSBURG, Kans. — An exhibit at Pitt State inside “The Bicknell Family Center for the Arts” highlights Kansas native Eva Jessye.
She was born in Coffeyville, and served as an “artist in residence” at PSU from 1978 to 1981.
Jessye is most well-known as a choral conductor and the first black woman to win international distinction as the director of a professional choral group.
In fact, her group was the official choir for “The Walk on Washington” in 1963, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior.
A gallery highlighting her life’s work will be on display until February 17th.
“While she was here she did a number of musical events that she was organizing with different students and faculty members. In the gallery display, you’ll see some pictures, this picture on the far right is her working with some students in a concert she put on while she was here,” said Lydia Bechtel, Professor of voice and music history.
A concert honoring Jessye’s legacy will also be held Wednesday, February 8th at 7 p.m., inside the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts.