Carl W. Haywood, a native of Portsmouth, Virginia, is a cum laude graduate of Norfolk State University (NSU) and a recipient of the Master of Sacred Music (organ) and Master of Music (choral conducting) degrees from Southern Methodist University (SMU). His undergraduate organ teachers were Larry Palmer and Allen Shaffer. Moreover, his matriculation at SMU afforded him further opportunities to study composition, arranging, and conducting with Lloyd Pfautsch while also serving as associate conductor-organist for the SMU Chapel under Dr. Pfautsch, Carlton Young, and Dr. Robert Anderson, his graduate organ teacher. It was during this tenure that he composed, arranged, conducted, and sustained the Chapel’s tradition for excellence in music. Dr. Haywood, who also received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree (choral Music) from the University of Southern California (USC), is recognized as a superb choral conductor/organist with superior musical acumen. His principal teachers at USC were Charles Hirt (choral conducting), Ladd Thomas (organ), and Halsey Stevens (composition).
Dr. Haywood has sustained a long tenure at Norfolk State University and is a devoted teacher and friend of students and young musicians. As Professor of Music, he is known not only for his thorough and vigorous teaching style in the areas of conducting and organ, but also for his untiring efforts to inspire all under his voice to reach their fullest potential. A dynamic advocate of NSU, he is Director of Choral Activities and conducts the NSU Concert Choir and the Spartan Chorale. As demonstrated by their rigorous touring schedule and concerts in major churches and venues throughout the country, NSU Choirs enjoy a status among the elite choral ensembles of the nation. Frequently Dr. Haywood, one of the leading church musicians in the field, serves as a clinician, adjudicator, guest conductor, organ recitalist, and lecturer for schools, colleges, and churches throughout the country. At the Kennedy Center, he served as a National Conductor and National Chair for the 105 Voices of History, the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Choir.
In Lift Every Voice and Sing II: An African American Hymnal published by the Church Publishing Company of the Episcopal Church, Dr. Haywood, who served as the Service Music Editor, arranged/composed twenty-nine compositions. He is also the leading contributor to Wonder, Love, and Praise (supplement to the Episcopal hymnal.) His latest congregational compositions appear in the new Episcopal hymnal supplement, Voices Found. Dr. Haywood’s music is also included in the following hymnals: This Far by Faith (Lutheran), The Faith We Sing (Methodist), African American Heritage Hymnal (Catholic), Worship in Song (Friends), Sing the Faith (Presbyterian), Total Praise (National Baptist), The Hymnal of the West Indies, as well as a plethora of songbooks. Dr. Haywood’s anthems, spirituals, and organ music are published by GIA, Walton, and Alliance Publishing companies. He is the proud composer of the NSU Alma Mater.
For twenty-six years he served as organist/choir director at Grace Episcopal Church, Norfolk and has served on the Liturgical Commission for the Diocese of Southern Virginia, the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music for the Episcopal Church of America and as Director of Music for the Union of Black Episcopalians.
He conducted the I. Sherman Greene Chorale – a semi-professional civic chorus in Norfolk—for twenty-six years. A lover of African American spirituals and masterworks, Professor Haywood led the Chorale in successful performances of Haydn’s Creation, Brahms’ Requiem, The Ordering of Moses (Dett), The Lord Nelson Mass (Haydn), Scenes from the Life of a Martyr (Undine Moore), and Messiah (Handel)—all with orchestra.
Dr. Haywood has been honored by the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia with proclamations and is the recipient of The Distinguished Contribution Award (National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc.), the Omega Man of the Year Award (Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. for Gamma Xi Chapter, also The Third District recipient), the Presidential Citation (National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education), and the Roy A. Woods Outstanding Teacher Award (Norfolk State University). Recently he received the “Soli Deo Gloria” Award for Excellence in Church Music from Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, The Living Legends Award from the Hampton Ministers Conference, and the Legends Award from the Union of Black Episcopalians.
He is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, The American Guild of Organists, The Association of Anglican Musicians, The Union of Black Episcopalians, The Music Educators National Conference, The National Association of Negro Musicians, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Kappa Kappa Psi Band Fraternity, Pi Kappa Lambda, and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.