Awards & Honorees

Hansonia Caldwell Harriford Portrait

Hansonia Caldwell Harriford

Emeritus Professor of Music, CSU Dominguez Hills

Hansonia Caldwell Harriford joined the faculty of California State University, Dominguez Hills in 1972. During her 45-year tenure she has made significant and enduring contributions to music education on campus and in the communities the university serves, and continues fostering an enriching celebration of art today.

Caldwell Harriford is founder of the Dominguez Hills Jubilee Choir, and founding director of the CSUDH/Georgia and Nolan Payton Program and Archive for the Study of African Diaspora Sacred Music and Musicians. She has served the university with distinction as dean of Humanities and Fine Arts, and dean of Graduate Studies and Research.

For 11 years, Caldwell Harriford coordinated the Living Legends Festival Concert, celebrating the musical masters of African Diaspora Sacred Music with performances that brought distinguished conductors and composers to the university. She continues to support CSUDH’s African Studies Department as a member of the Fannie Lou Hamer Queen Mothers Society.

Just as active off campus, Caldwell Harriford served for 12 years as a member of the board of directors of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and was founding co-president of SouthWest Heights Philharmonic Affiliates. She was also an adviser to the SouthEast Symphony Association, and a member of the National Association of Negro Musicians. Caldwell currently serves on the board of the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers and the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles.

Along with her talent as an educator, renowned pianist, conductor, and church organist, Caldwell Harriford is an active researcher and performance scholar. She has authored two books: African American Music, A Chronology: 1619-1995 (1996), and African American Music – Spirituals (2003), and co-produced the award-winning film “Amen: The Life and Music of Jester Hairston.” She continues to lecture across the country, addressing two topics in particular: the “Cultural Legacy of the African Diaspora,” and the “Understanding the Spiritual Through the Life and Music of Jester Hairston.” She also serves as minister of music at Knox Presbyterian Church in Ladera Heights.

Caldwell Harriford earned a master’s degree in musicology from Boston University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (USC). Along with CSUDH, she has taught at USC, at Santa Monica City College, and at California State University, Long Beach.