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Maurine F. Bailey and the Foundation

History
The Maurine F. Bailey Cultural Foundation(MFBCF) was established in 2000. The primary function of the MFBCF is to provide financial assistance to under-served students as they enter college. Recognizing the financial challenges as well as competing and less positive choices facing today’s youth, MFBCF is committed to providing uplifting alternatives for youth that are consistent with the life and legacy of excellence that were the hallmark of Mrs. Maurine F. Bailey.

Mrs. Bailey dedicated her life to providing music education, cultural exposure, and to the ideals of clean living, high thinking, and respect for self and others. The two words she emphasized were integrity and gratitude. She explained that “Integrity keeps you honest and gratitude keeps you humble.” For 25 years she instilled these principles. Mrs. Bailey believed that if students were exposed to a variety of career options, the experience would provide a framework that would help them recognize and pursue new and meaningful opportunities. Maurine F. Bailey impacted the lives of hundreds of students who have become local and national leaders in a variety of professions. The spirit in which Mrs. Bailey lived her life and changed the lives of countless young people is embodied in everything the MFBCF does.
Maurine F. BaileyMaurine F. Bailey was born August 13, 1901, in Atlanta, Texas, Cass County, a descendant of African and Native-Americans. Her parents were Jacob and Lee Annie Washington-Mitchell. She displayed a keen interest in music at an early age, and at the age of six was given music lessons. Her first music teacher was Miss Portia Washington-Pittman, the eldest daughter of Booker T. Washington, the famed African American educator and founder of Tuskegee University. Mrs. Bailey attended elementary and high school in Atlanta, TX and continued her formal education at Bishop College, Marshall Texas, The University of Colorado at Boulder, CO., Northwestern University at Evanston, Illinois, and Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas. One of the highlights of her formal education was the opportunity to study choral techniques at the Fred Waring Workshops in Shawnee, Pennsylvania under the Maestro himself. She continued to attend until she gained a mastery of Mr. Waring's techniques as they related to all areas of public performances. Mrs. Bailey shared her choral mastery with her students as well as the entire Dallas Independent School District (DISD) community. She was noted for taking students with untrained voices and some with severe discipline problems and turning them into well disciplined individuals with a near professional, and in some cases professional vocal range and control. She emphasized good citizenship as well as, musicianship with great emphasis on academics. Choir members were required to maintain a high scholastic rating and be well disciplined in order to remain in the group. The Harry T. Burleigh Concert Choir under the direction of Mrs. Bailey performed on so many community, civic, and other programs that they were considered by many to be “P.R. ambassadors for the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) and the African-American community. Besides the regular school programs, the choir performed for the following programs and occasions. Just to name a few:
  • Christmas concert at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts annually, sponsored by Museum league and the Mu Phi Epsilon Sorority.
  • Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
  • Annual Thanksgiving Celebration sponsored by the National Conference of Christians & Jews Inc. during the National Brotherhood Week.
  • First United Methodist Church, Dallas, TX.
  • Music festivals sponsored by Dallas Bethlehem Center.
  • In 1949, the choir made a recording for the International School of Music project, sponsored by the American Junior Red Cross. The recordings were sent overseas to 17 foreign countries as a goodwill gesture.
  • Annual concerts for the Veterans Administration-Dallas.
  • Kiwanis Club
Other activities of the choir included performances for numerous churches and organizations within the community, including countless Teachers Associations at the local, state, and national levels. Upon retiring from DISD after 25 years as a teacher and choir director at Lincoln High School, the choir was re-named “the Maurine F. Bailey Concert Choir” in her honor. After retirement, Mrs. Bailey continued to work at her profession. She became an Instructor in the department of teacher education at Bishop College where she taught Music Education for elementary and secondary schools, and supervised student teachers. While at Bishop she served as a member of the Evaluation team of the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges. Mrs. Bailey retired from Bishop College in the 70’s to care for her ailing mother, Mrs. Annie Mitchell, who had been her chief motivator through the years. Mrs. Bailey taught private piano lessons at home upon retiring from Bishop College. Maurine F. Bailey was married to the late Sterling F. Bailey in 1942. Mr. Bailey was a World War II veteran who was always supportive in assisting with her many community activities. He preceded her in death in 1984.

AWARDS


Maurine F. Bailey received numerous awards for her contributions to the Dallas community in the arts and related fields, such as:  
  • The H. I. Holland Award in Education by the Dallas Elite Newspaper publisher, William Blair.
  • National Sojourner Truth Meritorious Service Award by the South Central Division of Business & Professional Women’s Club—presented by the daughter of Sandra Thompson, a former choir member and accompanist.
  • Inducted into the Texas Black Women’s Hall of Fame by the Museum of African-American Life & Culture, sponsored by Dr. Harry Robinson.
  • Dallas Black Dance Theater Award for services to the organizations in the Arts, sponsered by a former student and co-worker, Mrs. Ann Williams.
  • National Council of Negro Women’s Role Model Award. Upon accepting this award, Mrs. Bailey said, “If I have achieved success, it has been due to my setting goals, keeping an open mind, and working hard to attain those goals with the assistance of many associates such as my first music teacher, Miss Portia Washington-Pittman, who was the eldest daughter of Booker T. Washington, the great Negro Educator, Scientist, Author, Civil Rights activist, and Founder of the Tuskegee Institute. Miss Portia guided me toward a career in music. Mr. John Talcott, Toronto University, influenced me greatly while at Bishop College. There were many Supervisors, Principals, and Teachers of DISD who assisted me, namely: Dr. E.D. Walker, Ms. Marion Flagg, as well as, Abby Whiteside, of Columbia University, Dr. Robert Shaw, at Northwestern University, and the legendary choral director, Maestro, Fred Waring, of Shawnee, Pennsylvania.” Mrs. Bailey also acknowledged school principals under whom she had worked including T. D. Marshall, J. B. Richey, H. I. Holland and Otto Fridia. Mrs. Bailey also gave credit to Fellow teachers, parents, students, the Dallas Community, her beloved husband and her mother who were so supportive and encouraging.
  • In April, 2003, Hastings Street, in South Dallas, was re-named “ MAURINE F. BAILEY WAY ” in her honor. The Maurine F. Bailey Cultural Foundation Inc. was founded in July, 2000 by her god-son, Carl Mathis Craig a.k.a Kingston DuCoeur, in order to preserve her legacy. MFBCF and its supporters are campaigning to have a school in Dallas Independent School District named in her honor, as the cornerstone in her lasting and growing legacy.

Long-Standing Activities

Maurine F. Bailey was a life-long member, and remained an active supporter of the organizations and clubs that sustained the Arts. She was a true patron of the arts. Among her favorites were:
  • The Arts in the community
  • Dallas Opera Guild — the Inner Circle of Dallas Civic Opera
  • Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority.
  • 500 Inc. Club
  • Black Dallas Remembered.
  • Dallas Symphony
  • Channel 13
  • National Organization of Negro Musicians.
  • Served as a judge for ACT-SO, a scholastic competition sponsored by the National NAACP for high school students.
  • She was a lifelong member of New Hope Baptist Church
Until her death in 2000, Mrs. Bailey provided scholarships to students at Bishop College (Prior to 1988), the Southern Bible Institute, John Wesley & Clemmie Pruitt Scholarship Fund, in Atlanta, Texas, and her first love, the Maurine F. Bailey Concert Choir at Lincoln High School. She lived to see her choir become an International award winning choir.

Highlights

A highlight Mrs. Bailey held dear was experienced while attending a concert at the new Myerson Symphony Hall. Dr. Robert Shaw, a former instructor of Choral Techniques at Northwestern University, who conducted the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and chorus in concert, invited Mrs. Bailey to visit with him back stage after the concert. It was Dr. Shaw who first introduced her to the Fred Waring techniques at Northwestern University.

An extremely proud moment for her was in the early 90’s when one of her favorite students, Dr. John Hopps Jr., was appointed the head of The National Science Foundation by President Bill Clinton, and later became Assistant Under-Secretary of Defense--for Science and Technology, under President George W. Bush in 2000. Dr. Hopps was also part of the team that discovered Fiber Optics, and helped to develop Nano-Technology. He presided over an international Science Conference at the Anatole Hotel in Dallas , Texas , during the 1990’s. He invited her to the conference. When he introduced his distinguished colleagues that shared the stage with him, he asked Mrs. Bailey—who sat in the audience, to please stand. While she stood, he introduced Mrs. Maurine F. Bailey as being one of the most influential people in his life.

Perhaps, Mrs. Bailey’s greatest joy was when she spoke of her god-son Carl Mathis Craig a.k.a Kingston DuCoeur, who became a successful singer and recorded four top selling albums as the lead singer for “The Pair Extraordinaire”, a duo that he created with his friend, bass player Marcus Hemphill from Fort Worth, Texas. “The Pair Extraordinaire” appeared in concert with the late Henry Mancini, Linda Ronstadt, the great Sammy Davis Jr., and others. For three years they toured exclusively with Bill Cosby at famed Las Vegas showrooms and other venues across the US and abroad. She lived to see him become a successful Hollywood actor, and saw him act in one of the two Academy Award nominated Films in which he appeared: “Seabiscuit”, and “Colors Straight Up”.

Mrs. Bailey’s close friend and neighbor, Dr. Hazel Partee said that “Maurine would burst with pride when they watched Carl on TV”. He appeared on numerous shows including “The Tonight Show Starring Johnnie Carson”, “The Dean Martin Summer Show”, “The Jeffersons”, “Good Times”, “Kojac”, ” Mc Cloud”, and so many others.

Mrs. Bailey relates that the proudest moment of her life happened one night when "The Pair Extraordinaire" appeared with Bill Cosby at the Fair Park Music Hall in Dallas. Near the end of their portion of the show-just before Cosby was introduced, Carl asked that the house lights come up full. To Mrs. Bailey’s complete surprise, he introduced his natural mother, Mrs. Nathalie Mathis and Mrs. Bailey. Saying of these two women; his dear mother, whom he said sacrificed every day for him and his siblings, and his Lincoln High School music teacher, Mrs. Maurine F. Bailey “These ladies saved me, from myself. They saw where I was headed. They believed in me, trained me, and convinced me that if I stayed out of trouble I could be anything I wanted to be, and they were right because here I am tonight as a co-headliner with one of America's greatest entertainers, Mr. Bill Cosby.”

Dr. Partee said that “Maurine was floating on air that night, and bursting with pride whenever she told the story”. Mrs. Maurine F. Bailey passed on July 19th, 2000, at the age of 99.

Editors note: Carl Mathis Craig a.k.a Kingston DuCoeur, also known as Kingston DuCoeur, writes about Mrs. Bailey, and others who impacted his life, in his book, “Icons, Idols & Personal Heroes”, on sale at www.kingstonDuCoeur.com