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Unveiling of the Historical Marker Honoring Undine Smith Moore

Published date: August 27, 2017

On Sunday, August 27, 2017, a program is scheduled for the unveiling of the historical marker honoring educator and composer Undine Smith Moore (August 25, 1904 – February 6, 1989). 
Coordinated by the Virginia State University Department of Music and Gillfield Baptist Church, the event is free and open to the public. 


The program will begin at 3 p. m. at Gillfield Baptist Church located at 209 Perry Street, Petersburg. Following the program, participants and attendees may walk or drive the short distance to the site of the marker for the unveiling. The address of that site is 301 Halifax Street, Petersburg (near the Health Department). Parking is available near the site. 

This site was chosen because of its proximity to Dr. Moore’s childhood home on Harding Street. It is also near Gillfield Baptist Church, the church where she worshipped throughout her life.  Another significant site in Dr. Moore’s life that is in the neighborhood is 516 Byrne Street, where she began her piano studies with Mrs. Lillian A. Darden. 

A native of Jarratt, Va. Moore was raised in Petersburg. At about age seven, she began piano lessons with the aforementioned Mrs. Darden, a Fisk graduate who had recently moved to Petersburg. She studied music at Fisk and graduated in 1926. She taught music in the public schools of Goldsboro, N.C., prior to beginning her long tenure (1927-1972) at Virginia State University. She received numerous honors and awards during her career. In 2017, the Library of Virginia recognized her as one of eight Virginia Women in History. 

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