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Twaddell Music School records

Identifier: NCC-0183

Scope and Contents

Photographs, clippings, and other materials in the collection provide an important record of the cultural life of Durham from the 1920s to the 1960s. Unfortunately, many Twaddell students pictured in photographs are unidentified. A few clippings and photographs are related to one of the school’s most accomplished students, opera singer Lucielle Brown. She married Robert D. Somers and became known by the stage name Lucielle Browning in the Metropolitan Opera during the 1930s and 1940s.


  • Creation: 1923 - 1960

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions.

Biographical / Historical

William Powell Twaddell, a native of Philadelphia, became director of music in Durham City Schools in 1921 at a time when music education in public schools was expanding, especially in cities. He also became organist at Durham’s First Presbyterian Church. From 1924 to 1946 he led a Durham Junior Choir, which included opera singer Lucielle Brown Somers. He died in 1949. Vera Carr Twaddell was a native of Durham, daughter of William A. and Jennie Lyon Carr. From 1926 to 1933 she was music director for Durham County Schools. She opened a primary school in 1934. This school became a music school, which Mrs. Twaddell operated until 1966. She took high school glee clubs to state competitions and began the Durham Junior Choir that husband William P. Twaddell lead.


0.5 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



The Twaddell Music School Collection contains photographs, clippings, and miscellaneous material related to the lives and careers of William P. Twaddell and wife Vera Carr Twaddell and a music school which Mrs. Twaddell operated in Durham from 1934 to 1966.

Immediate Source of Acquisition


Related Materials

Durham Historic Photographic Archives (NCC.0055)


A number of collection photographs can be viewed here:

Finding Aid for the Twaddell Music School Records
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the North Carolina Collection Repository

300 N. Roxboro Street
Durham NC 27701 United States