Carol Brice (1918 – 1985) contralto and one of the first African American classical singers to record extensively, was born in Sedalia, North Carolina. Brice earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Talladega College in 1939 and studied at the Juilliard School of Music from 1939 to 1943. She first gained public attention when she sang in the 1939 production of “The Hot Mikado” at the New York World’s Fair. In 1943, Brice became the first African American to win the Walter Naumburg Award and the following year made her recital debut at Town Hall. Brice made a number of appearances on Broadway, including the 1959 production of “Saratoga, the 1960 revival of “Finian’s Rainbow,” the 1971 production of “The Grass Harp,” and the 1976 revival of “Porgy & Bess.” In 1975, Brice and her husband founded the Cimarron Circuit Opera Company in Norman, Oklahoma. Brice died February 15, 1985.