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Home North Carolina Wake County City of Raleigh Historical Markers Lamar Stringfield 1897-1959

Lamar Stringfield 1897-1959

North Person Street, Raleigh, NC, USA
  North Carolina State Historical Marker
    North Carolina State
Historical Marker
    Marker Text:
"Musician and composer. First conductor of the N.C. Symphony, 1932-38. Boyhood home 3 blks. E."
     Minister O. L. Stringfield in 1892 became pastor at Inwood Baptist Church on Ramcat Road (near present Lake Wheeler Road) outside Raleigh. Shortly after son Lamar’s birth on October 10, 1897, the family moved to 218 Elm Street nearer downtown. Lamar was the sixth of seven children. O. L. Stringfield helped establish Meredith College, which opened in 1899 near his new home.

     Lamar Edwin Stringfield attended college at Mars Hill and Wake Forest, but left school in 1916 to join the army, seeing service in Mexico and France. On his return home, he began serious training in music, both in North Carolina and in New York. In 1928 Stringfield completed his symphonic suite, “From the Southern Mountains.” Known thereafter as an authority on southern ballads and folklore, Stringfield organized the Institute of Folk Music at the University of North Carolina in 1930. His career in many ways paralleled that of Paul Green, with whom he collaborated on “The Lost Colony Songbook.” In 1932 Stringfield helped organize the North Carolina Symphony, then headquartered in Chapel Hill. He served as the symphony’s first conductor from 1932 to 1938.

     In his later years, Stringfield moved often, residing in Charlotte, Mars Hill, Burnsville, Barnardsville, and Asheville. He remained active as a composer and served as guest conductor for major symphony orchestras across the country. He died in Asheville on January 21, 1959.

(Raleigh) News and Observer, May 22, 1949, and January 23, 1959
Asheville Citizen, January 23, 1959
Christopher Crittenden, William S. Powell, and Robert H. Woody, eds., 100 Years, 100 Men (1971)
1900 Census, Population Schedules, North Carolina State Archives
Wake County Deed Books, North Carolina State Archives
Heritage of Wake County (1983)