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Faculty: Principal

Mrs. Nevilla Ottley-Adjahoe (Principal & Founder, OMS)

NEVILLA E. OTTLEY-ADJAHOE, B.Mus.Ed., M.A. (organ & music history), M.Mus. (conducting) is the founder of the Ottley Music School, established in 1973 a year after she graduated with her Master of Arts in organ and music history from Andrews University where she had earned her B.Mus. in music education and piano performance. She came to Maryland after spending time in New York (accompanying the fledgling Boys Choir of Harlem) and New Jersey (teaching piano and organ at Garden State Academy). The Ottley Music Studio existed out of her home in Maryland, while she taught piano and theory, and later added other piano teachers, violin, voice and clarinet teachers.

She worked as a church musician, organist and choir director, since while in school in 1971.In 1974, she went to work at the Catholic University of America (CUA). During her tenure there, earned second graduate degree, a Master of Music in choral and orchestral conducting. After taking a class at CUA on Black Composers, she began a weekly one-hour radio show, Classics of Ebony, aired over WGTS 91.9 fm from 1976 to 1997, when the station changed format from classical to contemporary religious. She makes sure that music of Black Composers is included in what Ottley Music School students learn, and their ensembles and orchestra play. She has written three books on the subject, "Black Composers Born Before 1850," "Black Pianists of Classical Music," available at the Ottley Music and Book Store and "Still's Life in Pictures" (published and sold out for the 1995 Washington, D. C. centennial celebration of composer William Grant Still).

Mrs. Nevilla E. Ottley-Adjahoe was working as librarian at WGMS 103.5 fm when she was hired as the Music Director for the Choral and Orchestral Society of the World Bank/IMF in 1983. She worked there until she started the Takoma Park Symphony in 1988, the same year that she launched the first "Summer Fun" Music Camp in Washington, D. C., two weeks of music studies in strings, voice and piano, with 9 teachers and over 60 students. She worked with Takoma Park Symphony from 1988-1995, and with the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra from 2000-2002 as music director/conductor.

Her students have always rated very high in both the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and of the National Guild of Piano Teachers annual examinations and auditions. Over the past 40+ years, her piano, organ and voice students have taken (and are still taking) places of responsibility in the music world and other fields internationally. Most of them have gone on to colleges and universities around the world as students and professors, such as Johns Hopkins University, Andrews University, Loma Linda University, Western Michigan University, University of Maryland, Oakwood College, Duke University, Howard University, Berkelee School of Music, Morgan State University, Bethune Cookman College, Mannes College, Princeton, Northern Caribbean University, University of the Southern Caribbean, Bowie State University and others.

Mrs. Nevilla E. Ottley-Adjahoe has high ideals and goals for all students and teachers of the Ottley Music School (OMS). She expects teachers to have the same level of motivation and achievement for their students as she expects of hers. Therefore, she has selected a faculty that we hope will continue the high ideals and level of achievement. She serves at the OMS as a teacher of piano, voice, organ, music theory, music history, and conducting, and is the Music Director and principal conductor of the Hyattsville Symphony, comprised of students, OMS School teachers, and community musicians, including many of the Prince George's Philharmonic's "Symphony Kids." She also produces the concerts and operas at the OMS School and directs the summer camp programs.

To request Mrs. Nevilla E. Ottley-Adjahoe as conductor or speaker at your next event, contact Voices of Diversity.


Mrs. Nevilla Ottley-Adjahoe (Principal & Founder, OMS)
Publications by Mrs. Ottley-Adjahoe
Black Pianists
Black Composers
Black Divas

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