top of page


The Frierson Foundation's mission is to work with Music Departments of Elementary, Middle and High Schools in the city of Newark, NJ to bring the training and expression of:

  • Music Theory and Music Foundation

  • Drama

  • Dance (including Mime Dance)

  • Vocal & Ear Training

  • Sight Reading

  • Fundamentals of Playing An Instrument

  • Band & Orchestra Training 

to support students with these interests and artistic gifts and talents.  

Students who are interested in continuing their Music Education after High School Graduation can complete our on-line application to attend our Music College Tour Program. The application will also include the eligibility requirement checklist for qualification.

Our Advisory Board


"Dr. Bobby Jones – Gospel Music Hall Of Fame"

Dr. Bobby Jones (aka “Mr. Gospel”) has helped to revolutionize gospel music. Born of humble beginnings in Henry County, TN, Jones always dreamed of a career in music. He excelled academically, graduating from TSU and earning a doctorate from Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Jones started in television at WSM-TV in Nashville in 1976. He soon became credited with taking gospel music to the mainstream airwaves. Best known as the host and executive producer of BET’s longest-running show, Bobby Jones Gospel, for over 35 years.


When not writing, producing, and hosting television shows Jones can be heard on the Bobby Jones Gospel Radio Show and the Bobby Jones Gospel Countdown. He and his choirs have recorded over 15 albums over the years and have received many GRAMMY®, Stellar, Dove, and Soul Train awards nominations and wins. Other notable achievements include The Gabriel Award winner, GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame inductee, a Music City Walk of Fame star and his title as Dominica’s Ambassador at Large. Dr. Jones has worked relentlessly to bring his love for Gospel music to the world. He has invested his life in spotlighting others with no sign of slowing down.


La Verne Spruill


LaVerne Spruill started her business on a voluntary basis many years ago and as trends would have it, she turned it into a legitimate business. Over these past 30+ years, she has learned how to avoid the many pitfalls of setting up a business from the ground floor, and she began to grow a passion for helping other Entrepreneurs and New Business Owners get started and to minimize some of the frustrations in legally establishing, sustaining, maintaining and building a business.


She is always looking forward to the opportunity to assist someone in their business journey as well as assisting with the "birthing" of the vision, mission, and purpose, as well as deliver a legal, sustainable and profitable, business entity.

Oscar Petty Jr.jpg FF-page-0.jpg

Dr. Oscar Petty, Jr.

Dr. Petty is the director of Bands and Orchestra at the Cicely Tyson High School of Performing and Fine Arts in East Orange, New Jersey. He has performed as a professional musician at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, NJPAC, and in Italy. Dr. Petty has presented workshops at the Midwest Band Clinic in Chicago, he has taught at Arts High, Newark School of the Arts, and Talladega College. He is a Yamaha Artist and presents master classes across the United States. Dr. Petty enjoys travel, outdoors and gardening. He lives with his wife Carla here in New Jersey.


Dr. Deneen Washington, Principal

Dr. Washington is the principal at Belmont Runyon Community School in Newark, NJ where she looks forward to engaging teachers, parents, and community with effective leadership in order to create powerful learning experiences for students within the South Ward.

Dr. Washington is a member of the following organizations: Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., The Soaring Spirits International Organization, North Jersey Chapter of Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and the Kean Alumni Association. She currently serves as the secretary and principal representative on the executive board of The City Association for Supervisors and Administrators and is a certified mentor for New Jersey’s Leader to Leader Program.

In 2017, Dr. Washington founded Edcamp Newark Leadership. She has led two unconferences within the district to empower teacher leaders and administrators.

Rev. Dr. Johnny M. Caldwell, Jr.,.jpg

Rev. Dr. Johnny M. Caldwell, Jr.

Rev. Dr. Johnny M. Caldwell, Jr., the founder of JM Caldwell, Ministries Inc., a non-denominational ministry, and the Pastor of the New Born Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey where he has been a servant for over 12 years. He has expanded the churches ministries to support community missions, Christian Education and youth ministry. 

Also, Rev. Dr. Caldwell is the CEO of the Caldwell Companies, a multi-faceted company with interest in Real Estate Investment & Consulting, Evaluation of Houses of Worship, Music and Financial Seminars.  


In addition, he is currently Chief Real Estate Appraiser and Property Manager for BCB Community Bank in Bayonne, NJ where he is responsible for over $400 million in assets.  

Our Team




Franklin is one half of the singing group "The Frierson Brothers" and founder of The Frierson Foundation.  He and his twin brother Fredrick Frierson have been in the music business for over 54 years.




Fred is one half of the singing group "The Frierson Brothers". 

He and his twin brother Franklin have been in the music business for over 54 years.


AKIRA FRIERSON, Events Director

Akira is the Director of Planned Parenthood in E. Orange, NJ.



ALICIA COX, Treasurer

Alicia is a Manager of Coding in the H.I.M. Department at  Newark Beth Israel Hospital for 29 years. 

She has a CCS (Certified Coding Specialist) Certification and is also a Certified ICD-10 Coding Specialist Trainer. 


She attended Seton Hall University for 2 years where she majored in Nursing.



Sharon is a retired medical transcriptionist.

bottom of page