In the 1960s, international sensation Betty Allen performed at Winston-Salem State University. A mezzo-soprano opera singer, Allen had attended Wilberforce College (now University) in the mid-’40s, and then the Hartford Conservatory in the early ’50s.

Winston-Salem must have made an impression upon the late singer — she came back to teach at the N.C. School of the Arts from 1978 to 1987.

The trailblazer sang with several companies throughout her life, including the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Opera, and the New York Philharmonic. She was the executive director and then president of Harlem School of the Arts from 1979 to 1992. She passed away in Valhalla, N.Y., in 2009.

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