Photo: Dr. Rose Brooks honored at the 2005 Living Legends Festival.
Dr. Rose B. Brooks, ADSMM Living Legacy Honoree 2005, is a native Californian, born and reared in Pasadena. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California where she earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in music. She continued her education at Nova University at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where she received a doctorate in education. Her musical expertise extends to a variety of genres – including sacred choral works, Spirituals, classical piano and orchestral works.
Dr. Brooks began her career in education at Samuel Huston College in Austin, Texas, where she served as an instructor and Director of Choral Music. While in Texas, she had the distinct honor of directing the United States Army Men’s Chorus. After four years, she returned to California and continued her teaching career in the Los Angeles Unified School District and at the Foundation for the Junior Blind. Her tenure in Los Angeles included assignments at 99 th Street Elementary and Jordan High Schools. She served as accompanist for All City High School Honor Choirs and as an adjudicator for music festivals. In addition to her duties in Los Angeles, she served as music instructor for the Los Angeles County Bureau of Music, recorded and filmed for certain production companies connected with the Los Angeles education system, and served on interview committees for the school system. She went on to become a tenured staff member at Los Angeles City College, where she was a Professor of Music for thirty-two years.
Her ingenuity and talent gave her the foresight to conceive and organize many professional performing arts groups. A partial list includes the Vocalettes, the Rose Brooks Singers (which toured internationally), the Rose Brooks School of Performing Arts, the Brooks Chorale, and the Choir for Young Voices. She also teaches piano privately, and her students are presented annually at a special Recital Awards Banquet. Many of her former students are now professional entertainers.
She is the recipient of numerous scholarships, awards, plaques and certificates including: the Musique Vivante En Guyenne 1960-1970 Medal at the Music festival in St. Cere, France; Grant African Methodist Episcopal Church Achievement Award in the field of music; National Council of Negro Women Community Service Award in the field of music; Black Faculty and Staff of Los Angeles City College certificate of Appreciation; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Eta Lambda Omega Chapter Appreciation Award; Jordan High School Appreciation Plaque presented by the A Capella Choir; Scott United Methodist Church Academic achievement Award; Scott United Methodist Chancel Choir Appreciation Plaque; Trojan Women’s Club Scholarship; Delta Kappa Gamma Sorority Scholarship. Dr. Brooks is a member of many national and local organizations. Her memberships include the National Association of Negro Musicians, the Southeast Symphony Association, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Delta Kappa Gamma Society, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the American Federation of teachers, California teacher’s Association, National Education Association, and the Black faculty and Staff Association of Los Angeles City College. She is also a former board member of the Pasadena Symphony Association.
At Scott United Methodist Church in Pasadena, she served as Minister of Music over a 40-year period. During her years of service, she organized the Carol Choir; the Children’s Choir; Girls’ Ensemble; Boys’ Ensemble; Instrumental ensemble; Youth choir; Women’s Chorus; Men’s Chorus and the Chancel Choir. As Director of the Chancel Choir, she conducted such works as Haydn’s Mass In Time of War the Origin of the Spirituals with Dr. Jester Hairston as special guest conductor, and the operatic production of the oratorio Elijah at the ambassador College Auditorium. She also appeared as a radio guest on Luncheon at the Music Center, sponsored by KFAC.
In addition to her musical talents, Dr. Brooks has also devoted herself to community services. She led Yoga and Aerobic exercise classes in Pasadena.
Rose Brooks has had the reputation of being a perfectionist and a disciplinarian for the best in music. A champion for sacred music “presented as it was created,” Dr. Brooks has enriched many lives by sharing her musical talent – with the numerous young people who have benefited from her classes; with the church members who have deepened their appreciation and love for various types of sacred music; and with her community through the gifts of music she has presented in innumerable concerts and church services. The grateful recipients of her gift are legion.