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Lockwood, Normand : Home

Written by Heather Dent

Normand Lockwood

Early Life and Education

Normand Lockwood was born to Samuel Pierson and Angelina Lockwood in New York City, March 19, 1906.  He attended the University of Michigan from 1921 to 1924.  He taught at several colleges and universities including Yale University, Oberlin College, Westminister Choir College, and Trinity University.


Lockwood was a widely recognized and distinguished American composer with an international reputation.  His versatility is reflected in his concert anthems, oratorios, cantatas, overtures, operas, concertos, and smaller choral works.  He also composed string quartets, compositions for voice and piano, folk songs, dramatic scores, pageant music, and a variety of children’s records.Lockwood was offered various commissions by educational institutions (such as Berea), and cultural and religious societies.  Some of his most important works have been presented by the Columbia Broadcasting System, the National Council of Churches, Buffalo Philharmonica Orchestra, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Ann Arbor May Festival. 

His works have been performed by a wide variety of conductors, symphony orchestras, and string quartets, including: Maestros Stock, Rodzinski, Stokowsky, Antonini, Fiedler, Krips and the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Buffalo, and San Antonio.

Children of God

Under the joint sponsorship of the National Council of Churches and Berea College, Lockwood was asked to write an oratorio for the Berea Centennial.  He incorporated the spirit of Berea’s motto, “God Hath Made of One Blood All Nations” to create the masterpiece “Children of God.”  The piece was ultimately written for the libretto which had been compiled by the Chairman of the Psychology Department at that time, Dr. Clara Chassell Cooper, from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible.  The performance of this oratorio was characterized as “the first step in a long-range plan to bring church values into a formative influence on all music.”

Part I of the libretto is entitled, “Am I my Brother’s Keeper?” based on selections from the Old Testament.  It portrays the development of the concept of brotherhood illustrating the triumph of justice under a God of righteousness.  Part II is entitled, “Who is my Neighbor?”  This section was based on the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament.  The complete oratorio was premiered at Berea College May 15, 1957.

Excerpts of the oratorio have been sung in Europe and in the Orient since then.  Berea College utilizes selections for many occasions on campus, notably for President Weatherford’s inauguration, Thanksgiving services, and commencement exercises.


Fellowships, Awards, Prizes

Rome Prize (American Academy in Rome), 1929-1932.
Swift Prize - Symphony, 1934.
World’s Fair Prize - Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking, unaccompanied chorus, 1939.
Guggenheim Fellowship (Awarded for his creative work), 1943-1945.
Ernest Block Prize - The Birth of Moses, women’s chorus, flute and piano, 1947.
Publication Award (Society for the Publication of American Music) – Third String Quartet, 1947.
Award in Music (National Institute of Arts and Letters), 1947.
Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music (Berea College), 1974.



List of Works

Carol Fantasy, chorus and orchestra
Children of God, oratorio chorus, children’s chorus, five soloists, orchestra
Concerto for Organ and Brasses
Give Me the Splendid Silent Sun, chorus, baritone, orchestra
Light out of Darkness, anthem, chorus, baritone, orchestra
Mary Who Stood in Sorrow, soprano and orchestra
Patriotic Overture, chorus, orchestra and band
Prairie, chorus and orchestra
The Scarecrow, opera
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, 4 male voices, soprano, orchestra


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