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Black Arts and Culture

Passes: Dr. Patricia Saunders Nixon 64, Acclaimed Classical Singer

By Julius E. McCullough

Dr. Patricia Saunders Nixon, acclaimed classical singer, passed on August 9, 2020 at the age of 64.

A native of Portsmouth, Va., Dr. Nixon was an alumnae of Norfolk State University, cum laude graduate with a B.S. Degree in Music Education, a double major in voice and organ and a Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance. She was a December 2011 graduate of Shenandoah University Conservatory with a DMA Degree in Vocal Performance. She was also an AMTC Graduate (Actors, Models and Talent for Christ) Winter Shine 2013.

Dr. Nixon was a tenured Associate Professor of Music/ Vocal Instructor and Advisor at Norfolk State University and was the director of the Gifted and Talented Music Program and the Advisor of the NSU Tidewater Area Musicians Collegiate Branch.

. She received national acclaim in three countries in South American performing the role of “Clara” in Gershwin’s Opera Porgy & Bess and was also featured in the Virginian Pilot for her performances in Virignia.

Dr. Nixon performed the role of the “1st Lady” in Mozart’s the Magic Flute and “Hipólita” in the World Premier of Thea Muskgraves’ opera SIMÓN BOLÍVAR. She also played the role of “Sis Odessa” in Latrese Carter’s Musical Talkin’ Bout Good News by Faithwalk Productions . She frequently performed the role of “Lulla Bell” in Mrs. Christine M. Davis’ Musical “Let My People Go” with the VA Opera Guild directed by Mrs. Christine M. Davis. Dr. Nixon was in Beyond Scared Straight Western- Tidewater Regional Jail – VA Big and Bad Season 4 on A & E, Arnold Shapiro Production.

She was also a performer with “Legacy of Weyanoke.” She has performed with the I. Sherman Greene Chorale and the Chesapeake Civic Chorus. She was one of the moderators in Kathleen Battle Presents the “Underground Railroad: A Spiritual Journey” with Joel A. Martin on the piano and Norfolk State University Choir directed by Dr. Carl W. Haywood. This was a collaboration with Norfolk State University and the Virginia Arts Festival.

Dr. Nixon was also a recording artist. She recorded the following records: Patricia Saunders Nixon sings Traditional Spirituals; Preach the Word, Three Spirituals by A. Hailstork; TAM Presents Dr. Patricia Saunders Nixon; Body Bumpin’ My Town CD Vocals’Universal Records; and Vocals Sheldon Collins CD Poems in the Key of Wisdom, Keeping Time by Saving Grace, BP Studios.

She was a member of and served as secretary for the Tidewater Area Musicians, a branch of NANM (National Association of Negro Musicinas); NAFME (National Association for Music Educators), NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing); and she was a member at large of the Virginia National Association of Teachers Board. She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Gamma Delta Omega Chapter and an honorary member of Tau Beta Sigma, Epsilon Sigma NSU Chapter. She was also a member of Ebenezer Baptist Churh Portsmouth, VA and attended the Dorcas Sunday School Class, sang in the Unity Choir and was the Deaconess Ministry Chair.

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She was married to for 41 years to Mr. Jimmie L. Nixon and was blessed with two children, Jimmie L. Nixon Jr. (Deceased) and Annette Marie Nixon; two grandchildren, Omar Greene, Jr. and Amani Regina-Anne Greene.

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