History of the Study of Music at Centenary
By Jennifer Gipson '02
Written in 2002 in connection with the 150th anniversary of the Study of Music at Centenary College of Louisiana
“The students make their own music… There is in this the useful and beautiful. It struck us, and we believe everybody as, ‘a thing that ought to be.’ (“Centenary College of Louisiana.” New Orleans Christian Advocate. August 6, 1853.)
“Although we are not going to dwell on the laurels of past glory, it is well to mention what we have done in the past.” So begins the 1924 Yoncopin report on “Musical Activities” at Centenary. In 2002, as Centenary reflects on the 150 years that have passed since the formal introduction of music courses, it is, indeed, “well to mention” the role of musical activities in the College’s rich history.
The present-day Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport traces its roots to two earlier institutions: a public school, the College of Louisiana, founded in Jackson, Louisiana, in 1825, and Centenary College, established in 1839 by the Methodist Episcopal Church South in Clinton, Mississippi. In 1845, the two colleges merged to form Centenary College of Louisiana in Jackson. The College continued to operate on the Jackson campus, interrupted only by the Civil War, until its move to Shreveport in 1908.