Hampton Universty Community Mourns the Loss of Devoted Choir Director Royzell L. Dillard

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The Hampton University family mourns the loss of devoted alumnus and faculty member, Royzell L. Dillard, who died on Nov. 17. Joining the Hampton University faculty in 1986, Dillard served as a faithful member for 25 years. At the time of his passing, he was an assistant professor of music, the director of university choirs and the minister of music at Hampton University’s Memorial Church.

Dillard touched many lives. Many Hamptonians served under him as members of the University Choir, University Concert Choir, the University Gospel Choir: His Chosen Sounds and the Vocal Jazz Ensemble: JZAZZ. Dillard earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Hampton Institute in 1983 and the Master of Arts degree in music education from Hampton University in 1988.  He was an honored member of the American Choral Director’s Association, the Inter-Collegiate Music Association, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and various organizations. Since 2000, Dillard has served as the co-music director of the Hampton University Ministers’ Conference and Choir Directors’ and Organists’ Guild Workshop.

A musical genius, Dillard published articles and music as well as presented at numerous conferences and workshops both nationally and internationally. Named to the Who’s Who in Colleges and Universities, Dillard has several noteworthy performing credits including Porgy and Bess, Messiah, A’int Misbehavin’, and Five Guys Name Moe. One of the highlights of his career was his performances for former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, as well as President Barack Obama.

The Annual Thanksgiving Concert featuring the University Gospel Choir: His Chosen Sounds was held Nov. 19 in his memory and a memorial service was held Nov 22 in Ogden Hall.

Memorial donations may be sent to the Royzell L. Dillard University Choirs Fund, Office of the Vice President of Development, Hampton University, Hampton, Va. 23668.

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