Sep 22 1935 – Sep 30 2021
Marva Frails, a lifelong resident of Niagara Falls New York, was the first black music teacher in the Niagara Falls Public School District. Hired in 1960 at Gaskill Junior High School, Mrs. Kincannon was a well-respected and celebrated music teacher. She remarried and later transferred to Niagara Falls High School where she worked until her retirement in 2000.
As a girl, Marva became a charter member of New Hope Baptist Church of which her family were among the founding members. For most of her adult life, Marva was the Minister of Music at the church, playing the piano and singing with the choir. Her love of music came from her father who gave her and her two brothers musical instruments. All three went on to become talented musicians. Marva graduated Cum Laude from Wilberforce University in Ohio, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and she earned her Master’s Degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
She was a president of the Beta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and in addition to being the Minister of Music at New Hope Baptist Church; she was a board president of the Niagara Experience Players and founder and advisor of the Niagara Falls High School Gospel Chorus. Marva Frails received many awards as an educator and for her community service. In 2006, she was honored as one of WNY’s Women Builders of Communities and Dreams; and in 2019 was honored as one of The Black Pioneers of Niagara Falls. However, Marva said that her greatest accomplishments were her students; “I am so proud of everyone that I have taught.”
It is our honor to induct Marva Frails as a Legacy Inductee into the Niagara Falls Music Hall of Fame, Class of 2022.