Root, Virginia (1894-1980) | University of Illinois Archives

Name: Root, Virginia (1894-1980)

Historical Note: Eleanor Virginia Root, descendant of entrepreneur Cornelius Vanderbilt and American composer and music publisher George Root, studied voice and held leading roles in opera productions in Italy and the United States following her graduation from P.S. 157 (St. Nicholas Ave and 157th Street) in New York City on 25 June 1900. Miss Root toured with the Harry Lauder All Star Company, using the stage name, Virginia Vervelle, prior to serving as vocal soloist for the Sousa Band from 1909 through 1917. She was in demand as a soloist in the New York Hippodrome shows in 1916 and 1917, as well as in sacred and secular performances throughout her professional career.  Root performed in the "Chapman Concerts" in 1905; those concerts are frequently addressed in clippings and represented by concert programs. Works by artistic director and conductor William Grafton Chapman are among the works in Root's performance collection.  Virginia Root married New York Times columnist George T. Macadam. The family, including a son, George, lived in Scarsdale, New York. Root died at the age of 96 on June 2, 1980 in Springfield, Massachusetts.

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