Updated 1/18: NCCU’s Director of Choral Activities Passes Away December 22


UPDATED 1/18: The memorial concert is today, 1/18, at 11 a.m. Deeply regret not learning about this till last night. See: http://www.thedurhamnews.com/2014/01/14/3529419/tracie-fellers-remembering-mr.html.


We regret being the bearer of this bad news from the Chancellor of NCCU;

“It is with a heavy heart that I write to inform you of the sudden passing of Mr. Richard Banks, associate professor in the Department of Music and director of Choral Activities, on Sunday, Dec. 22.

“Professor Banks served NCCU for 10 years as a passionate professor, committed colleague and mentor to countless students and alumni. A Chicago native, he earned a Bachelor of Music Education from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo., and a Master’s from The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Professor Banks taught music education for more than two decades, including appointments at colleges and universities such as The State University of New York (SUNY) Plattsburgh, Knoxville College, Talladega College, Saint Augustine’s University and Voorhees College. Throughout the years, he has performed extensively and sung many opera roles with several companies, including the Chautauqua Opera Co. in N.Y., The Grand Rapids Opera Co. in Mich., and The Long Leaf Opera Co. in N.C. Professor Banks won numerous awards, honors and recognitions during the course of his career.

“A celebration of life is being planned and details will be circulated to the campus community. Please keep Professor Banks’ wife, Deborah; son, Richard D. Banks (wife, Katie); stepson Derrick Smith (wife, Shelly); and two stepdaughters, Tonya Breland (husband, Gerard) and Tamara Smith; along with the rest of his family and friends, colleagues, students and former students in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations are made to the NCCU Foundation c/o the University Choir.

“In Truth and Service, Dr. Debra Saunders-White, Chancellor”

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