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Alton Adams Memoirs Feted with Book Signing

April 27, 2008 — The culmination of labors extending over almost four decades will be celebrated Tuesday with a formal book signing by Mark Clague, editor of "The Memoirs of Alton Augustus Adams Sr.: First Black Bandmaster of the United States Navy."
Clague and Adams' son, Alton Adams Jr., will present a signed copy of the book to V.I. Education Commissioner LaVerne Terry in a ceremony from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Café Amalia in Palm Passage. The public is invited.
Clague, University of Michigan assistant professor of musicology, American culture and African-American studies, calls the memoirs "a long-awaited and major publication on Virgin Islands life."
It is a unique and intimate glimpse of the Virgin Islands by one of its most versatile, gifted and distinguished sons.
Adams was not only bandmaster and composer — he was also a journalist, founder of the V.I. Press Corps, writer for several music periodicals, hotelier, co-founder of the first local hotel association (where he served 19 years as president), founder of the local Red Cross, and creator of the first public school music curriculum. (See "New Book Shows V.I. History Through Eyes of Bandmaster, Booster." )
Businessmen Ricardo Charaf, Neil Prior and Sebastiano Cassinelli Paiewonsky have each purchased 25 copies of the book, which will be distributed to the principals of all the territory's public, private and parochial schools.
Clague will be available to discuss aspects of the book which he edited from manuscripts originally drafted by Adams Sr.
And a team from Dockside Bookshop will have the books available for sale at the signing.

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