William Elmer Keeton (1882 - January 1, 1947) was a musicologist, noted for creating and leading Keeton's Oakland Color Chorus and other Depression-era musical groups.

Keeton was born in Rolla, Missouri, and grew up in St. Louis. He studied music at Northwestern University, which at that time did not grant degrees in music. He was awarded a Certificate in Piano and Theory in 1906. He moved to Oakland in 1921. 1

In Oakland, he opened a studio of music, teaching piano, organ, music theory, composition, and more. It was at 1364 - 9th St. near Kirkham.

October 1921 Western Outlook 3

Death, Burial, and Legacy

Keeton died January 1, 1947, at his home at 2631 Inyo Avenue. A funeral was held at St. Augustine's Episcopal Church; arrangements were by the Hudson Funeral Home. 2 The chorus was renamed the Keeton Memorial Chorus in his memory. 2

Links and References

  1. Elmer Keeton and His Bay Area Negro Chorus: Creating an Artistic Identity in Depression-Era San Francisco by Leta Miller, Black Music Research Journal Vol. 30, No. 2, Fall 2010

  2. Composer's Funeral To Be Held Monday Oakland Tribune Friday January 3, 1947

  3. ad Western Outlook October 22, 1921 via University of North Texas Libraries

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