Former Secretary to W.E.B. DuBois Honored as Gospel Music Pioneer
Dixon was secretary to several historical greats, but she is being honored now for her own musical prominence.
Omie Lee Dixon, a secretary to historian W.E.B.Dubois is being honored this month by members of the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses.
The national musical organization is convening in Atlanta Sat., Aug. 6, through Tues., Aug. 12. The convention takes place at the Sheraton Hotel on Courtland Street.
Dixon, who celebrated her 91st birthday in July, is being honored on Tues, Aug. 9, as a pioneer gospel singer.
Dixon began her singing career with a local gospel group, the Atlanta Aires. She later sang with gospel great Sallie Martin. Dixon met Martin when the Sallie Martin Singers were in Atlanta for a performance. Dixon invited them to be her house guests.
Later, when Dixon traveled to Chicago she joined the group and also worked at the Martin and Morris Music Studio.
Dixon has attended many of the Gospel Choir and Chorus conventions. Her own introduction to music resulted from exposure to "note-singing" parents. According to Dixon, note-singers are able to pick up a sheet of music and harmonize without the use of keyboard instruments by vocally sounding a key note.
Although Dixon never engaged in note-singing, she developed a system for blending the written notes with the sound on keyboard instruments and created what she calls "the Om's Chord Scale System."
Using Dixon's system, aspiring muisicians are able to play all chords in all keys by ear. She credits her expertise in developing this system from her years as a student at Morris Brown College, where she received a minor's degree in music.
"I was greatly inspired and committed to surrender all to the Christ of God within me," she said.
With her advancing age, she also said," I have grown to know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Dr. Thomas A. Dorsey was the founder of the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses. Recognized as the "father of gospel music," he developed the composition, "Precious Lord, Take My Hand." The convention's goal is to "foster an appreciation of gospel music and to develop the spiritual growth of the membership."