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Albert J. McNeil rehearsing University Chorus 1990 (Gerth Archives)

Remembering Music Professor Emeritus Albert McNeil

Albert J. McNeil, UC Davis professor emeritus of the Department of Music and an original faculty member and chair of the Department of African American and African Studies, died on Nov. 29. He was 102. At UC Davis from 1969 to 1990, McNeil transformed the University Chorus from an occasional course to a full public performance group and also created the Chamber Singers.

“I was in Al McNeil’s choir his last year,” recalled Laurie San Martin (B.A., music, ‘91), now professor and chair of the Department of Music. “As an undergraduate, you just didn’t want to miss out on working with him. He was a legend." 

He also founded the Los Angeles-based Jubilee Singers and was a tireless promotor of the performance and preservation of the African American spiritual. 

Read more about his life and impact. 

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