It is with great sadness that I announce the loss of another treasured member of our Eagle community. Mr. Arnold George, an assistant professor in the North Carolina Central University (NCCU) Department of Music and member of the NCCU Class of 1975, passed away on Wednesday, May 18, 2022.
Mr. George joined NCCU in 1991 as an instructor and served the university and music department for 31 years, where he played an instrumental role in building the Jazz Studies Program alongside the university’s former music department chair Dr. Ira Wiggins. In 1992, he was appointed to implement and direct the Vocal Jazz Ensemble and his musicianship led the group to win multiple awards in Downbeat magazine and open for five consecutive performances during the Grand Opening Week for the newly renovated Durham Carolina Theater. Under his leadership, the Vocal Jazz Ensemble also secured two major performances at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland in 1996 and in Paris, France in 1999. They also performed at the White House in 1997.
A proud Eagle, Mr. George earned his bachelor’s degree in music education. As an NCCU student, he blossomed into a great musician with the alto saxophone as his main instrument while also becoming a great pianist. He also served as drum major for the university’s Sound Machine, performed with numerous local dance bands and held pianist and choir director positions at various community churches.
Mr. George will be remembered as an educator who always gave himself for the betterment of others. When issues with students arose during the academic year, he would always proclaim, “Yes, but that’s somebody’s child,” meaning that they were important and deserved the program’s best effort to support them with their education. According to Dr. Wiggins, “He gave so much of himself with his time, energy, kindness all with a giving spirit. I have never witnessed this from anyone in my career. Mr. Arnold George is a blessing to all who knew him and his memory will continue to be blessing to the world.”
The celebration of Mr. George’s life will be held on Monday, June 20, 2022, at Livingstone College’s Varick Auditorium, 701 W. Monroe St., Salisbury, N.C. The visitation will begin at 12:30 p.m., followed by the funeral service at 2 p.m.
Please keep Mr. Arnold George’s family, friends and colleagues in your thoughts and prayers.