Interview with Walter Allen, Sr., September 20, 2016

Collection: Athens Music Project Oral History Collection

Dublin Core


Walter Allen, Sr. grew up in Allendale, South Carolina, in the era of Jim Crow. The area was a close knit farming community, and Allen recalls learning principles of responsibility and discipline from his parents, neighbors, and teachers at Allendale County Training School, an all-black public school. While he also took classes on agriculture and home economics, Allen valued his music education most highly. Because of widespread discrimination, Allen saw and experienced many racially-motivated injustices during his school years, which became a factor in his advocacy for black music education, which he promoted by establishing free after school music programs throughout the state of Georgia. In the interview, Allen chronicles his own music education, beginning in primary school and extending through his time in college, the military, and band directing.






Oral History Item Type Metadata


Athens, Georgia


75 minutes


Walter Allen, Sr. and Fred Smith, “Interview with Walter Allen, Sr., September 20, 2016,” UGA Special Collections Libraries Oral Histories, accessed September 29, 2020,