With great regret, the family of Ms. Ruth Campbell Stewart announces the passing. She was born October 20, 1916, in Savannah, Georgia. She was preceded in death by her parents, and her brother. She is survived by her sister, Saramae Richardson, niece, Yvonne Richardson James, great-nieces Sara James and Paige James and nephew James Stewart, Jr. She has cousins and many life-long friends.
Her family, former students, and friends will gather Saturday, April 21, 2018, to celebrate
her life. While she was a member of Salem Lutheran Church, the Funeral service will be celebrated on Saturday, April 21, 2018, at 11:00 am in the sanctuary of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church. The eulogist will be the founding pastor emeritus, Dr. William A Lawson. The viewing will be from 10:00 am, an hour before the funeral service which will begin promptly at 11:00 am. After the service, the motorcade will pass by the Stewart-Rollins Music Building, for a salute by the Ocean of Soul Marching Band, as well as other music students. The public is welcome to be part of the salute. The Interment will be at Houston Memorial Gardens Cemetery, 2426 Cullen, Pearland, TX 77581.
On March 1954, Ms. Stewart arrived to teach voice and become the director of the Women’s Glee Club at Texas State University for Negroes (later to become Texas Southern University). During her 29-year tenure at Texas Southern University, she co-produced several operas, including “Cavalleria Rusticana,” “Madama Butterfly,” “La Boheme,” “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” “The King and I,” “Requiem” (Verdi), and “Messiah” (Handel).
Ms. Stewart entered Columbia University the fall of 1943, studying voice with the late Dr. Robert Wilson. She also enrolled in applied piano sight singing, theory and the History of Music. In May 1949 she auditioned and won a pivotal role in the premiere production of “Troubled Island” by William Grant Hill, presented at City Opera, New York City. In 1951 she was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to study at St. Cecelia Conservatory Rome Italy with Maestro Maria Pediconi.
She was voted Regional Governor of the National Association of Teachers of Singing “NATS” including Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, for two years. After her first term, she was voted to continue to lead the organization by acclamation. She also organized with the help of the late Clifford Smith, a Men’s Group – called “The Men of Houston, consisting of 28 men from all walks of life, with one goal in mind – to sing. During a seven-year tenure, the group gave many concerts, performed on many programs and on television.
Ms. Stewart has many students who have had successful careers in teaching and performing. Among those who have achieved success are Faye Robinson, internationally acclaimed soprano; Gloria Harrison-Quinlan, soprano; the late Lionel Stubblefield, tenor, and April Sloan-Hubert, Houston’s premier soprano. Ruth Stewart retired on May 31, 1983. The modern facility, which now houses the Music Department, has been designated as the Rollins-Stewart Music Building in honor of her tenure. ,
Special thanks to McCoy & Harrison Funeral Home, 4918 MLK, Houston, TX 77021, 713.659.7618