Arthur Norcott

Arthur Norcott played the pipe organ at Sycamore Hill Baptist Church, and was also a talented pianist.

As described by Hubert Walters, “He was an exceptional musician; and I can say that now, having studied music and gone through graduate work and so forth, that he was really a musician ahead of his time.”

He graduated from the Eastern Tar River Institute run by black churches. Then he studied with a white teacher, Allison Hearn, which was unusual for the time, but she saw his talent. His music was an integral part of the service, as he chose music related to the message of the day.

He mentored young musicians, and exposed them to the Messiah by Handel at East Carolina. College choral groups from Shaw University and North Carolina Central University performed at the church. He selected and taught a quartet from the church called the Vox Angelic quartet. He presented annual recitals, called a “moment musical,” at Eppes High School.