Music, School of
Date of this Version
Francis Eugene ("Gene") Mikell (1880-1932) Instrumentalist and recitalist (violinist, cornettist, saxophonist), conductor, composer, educator (including instruction in voice, piano, violin, guitar, mandolin, banjo, cornet, saxophone, clarinet; school and community bands and chorusses). Compositions for band, orchestra, voice. Arrangements of popular songs and tunes for band. And a photograph exists of Mikell with a curious string instrument he invented---a kind of soap box cello.
Mikell attended Avery, Tuskegee, the New York Conservatory, and Orangeburg, so he probably came from a relatively educated and successful family background. This supposition is only reinforced by his subsequent career in education. He taught at: Tuskegee in 1894 Orangeburg SC State College Jenkins Orphanage, Charleston, SC Cookman Institute, Jacksonville Florida Baptist Academy, Jacksonville Bordentown School, Bordentown, NJ New York Music School Settlement, NYC Martin-Smith School of Music, NYC (acc. Southern) Lincoln House Settlement, NJ Lincoln House Settlement, NYC
This document is one in a series---"Chronology and Itinerary of the Career of"---devoted to a small number of African American musicians active ca. 1900-1950. They are fallout from my work on a pair of essays, "US Army Black Regimental Bands and The Appointments of Their First Black Bandmasters" (2013) and "Black US Army Bands and Their Bandmasters in World War I" (2012). In all cases I have put into some kind of order a number of biographical research notes, principally drawing upon newspaper and genealogy databases. None of them is any kind of finished, polished document; all represent work in progress, complete with missing data and the occasional typographical error. I invite queries, amplifications, and corrections, which may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The present document is a first draft of July 2016.