Clarence E. Knight Jr.
Chairman, Fine and Performing Arts Department
Dr. Clarence E. Knight, Jr., is chairman of the Fine and Performing Arts Department at Bowie State University. Under his leadership, the department has grown considerably with new and exciting programs and an increase in the majors in each of the Fine and Performing Arts concentrations. He brings a wealth of experience in education, administrative and musical performance.
Dr. Knight holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a Masters in Music Education from Howard University as well as a Doctorate of Administration and Supervision from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
At the age of 8, his music career began. In high school, he was involved with the junior band and junior jazz ensemble. He quickly accelerated to the senior level bands where he studied clarinet, flute and saxophone. His high school music experience laid the foundation for the rich experiences he has had for over five decades.
He performed as lead saxophonist in the Howard Theater Orchestra while attending Howard University. Upon graduating from Howard University, he received his Commission as 2nd Lt. He taught elementary music in North Carolina for one year after which he reported for active duty in the Army. His military career was highlighted by completion of Aviation School, one tour in Vietnam as an advisor and aviator, and training of helicopter pilots before his discharge at the rank of Captain in 1967. He returned to Washington D.C. wherein he began a long and rewarding career in music and administration.
His career has also included musical theater; leader of his own dance band; and freelance musician, playing with a number of local and national orchestras. His experience expands from pop music, jazz, rhythm and blues, traditional and classical genres. He has performed in numerous Broadway shows such as "Bubblin' Brown Sugar", "The King and I", "My Fair Lady", "Hubie", "Sophisticated Ladies", "Mother Courage", "Raisin, the Musical", "How To Succeed", "The Lena Horne Show", "Tap Dance Kid", and many, many more. These were performed in New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.
As CEO of his own music production company, Clarence E. Knight Productions, he has produced a number of shows and other musical events that included many international artists in support of national conferences and conventions. His clients include Lucient Technologies (The O'Jays and Chaka Kahn); Sheraton Hotels,Inc. (Gladys Knight); Lee Elder Industries (Freddie Cole, Johnny Mathis, and The Dells), Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (Freddie Jackson, George Duke, Gladys Knight, Angie Stone, as well as his own musical orchestra). Also included were other musical support activities for Dances, Luncheons, Fashion Shows, Formal and Informal Dinners, Etc.). His company also provides back-up musicians for hundreds of shows and luminaries throughout the United States. Other highlights include 15 years as jazz band director for the Washington Redskins; tour director and musician for Gladys Knight; recording artist with Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, The Dells, Lloyd Price, Arthur Prysock, Low Rawls, Tina Turner/Tom Jones (HBO), Smokey Robinson, and other tracks for Motown Records.
Dr. Knight is a member of The American Federation of Musicians and has served on numerous Arts Boards nationally and locally.