State highway marker memorializes local woman

PETERSBURG — Petersburg citizens gathered at Gillfield Baptist Church to honor and pay respect for Undine Smith Moore on Sunday, August 27.

The State of Virginia recognized her achievements with a state highway commemorative marker here in Petersburg.

The wonderful program to honor her at this special moment was organized by Dr. Ethel Haughton, of the Music Department at Virginia State University. The program was attended by the current VSU President Makola Abdullah.

The location of the program was Gillfield Baptist Church , 209 Perry Street, where Moore was a member and, according to her pastor Grady Powell, was “a mighty force in the church for for 50 years.”

The powerful and moving program was a medley of Moore’s compositions that she created over her famous musical career.

Many of the musical compositions were performed by her students who gave stories of their interactions with Moore over the years. Her daughter, Mary-Hardy Moore Easter, spoke about being with her mother when the different compositions were composed.

Moore’s own words were included at different points to illuminate and give insight to this famous scholar, music educator, and composer.

At the conclusion of the program, those present went to 301 Halifax Street where the unveiling of the commemorative marker took place.