HJ419: Celebrating the life Roland Arlington Wiggins.

Offered March 2, 2020
Celebrating the life of Roland Arlington Wiggins.
Patrons-- Hudson; Senator: Deeds

WHEREAS, Roland Arlington Wiggins of Charlottesville, a distinguished music educator known for his innovative applications of advanced musical theory, died on November 20, 2019; and

WHEREAS, a native of Ocean City, New Jersey, Roland Wiggins was recognized as a musical prodigy at a young age and began formal study of the piano when he was eight years old; by 15, he was a star performer at Atlantic City’s Steel Pier amusement park; and

WHEREAS, Roland Wiggins continued to study the piano at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music, then served his country as a member of the United States Air Force, during which time he played with the renowned jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd and studied composition with one of the most innovative composers of the 20th century, Henry Cowell; and

WHEREAS, Roland Wiggins subsequently became an authorized instructor of the Schillinger System of Musical Composition, a comprehensive, mathematical approach to musical analysis and composition, and pursued a career in education after graduating from Combs College with bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees; and

WHEREAS, Roland Wiggins’ joyful approach to composition focused on individual expression and truthful communication through music, and he provided guidance to many well-known artists, including John Coltrane, Yusef Lateef, and Thelonious Monk; he conducted groundbreaking research into the production of electronic music and used computerized analyses of famous musicians to teach key concepts; and

WHEREAS, in addition to teaching at Combs College, Roland Wiggins worked at several high schools and junior high schools, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Williams College, Amherst College, Hampshire College, and the University of Virginia; and

WHEREAS, Roland Wiggins relocated to Charlottesville in 1989 and quickly became a cherished member of the community; and

WHEREAS, Roland Wiggins will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by his wife, Muriel, and  his daughters, Rosalyn, Suzan, and Carol; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly hereby note with great sadness the loss of Roland Arlington Wiggins, a luminary of jazz music who inspired countless students as an instructor; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the family of Roland Arlington Wiggins as an expression of the General Assembly’s respect for his memory.