Orpheus Myron McAdoo his own minstrel company by recruiting former students and graduates of Hampton Institute after touring Europe, Australia, and New Zealand as a performer.
McAdoo was born in 1858 in Greensboro, North Carolina. He attended Hampton Institute where he studied to be a teacher and graduated in 1876. After college, he taught in Pulaski and Accomack Counties in Virginia, before turning his attention on a music entertainment career.
In 1886, McAdoo began touring Europe after joining the original Fisk Jubilee Singers. Once he returned to the United States, he formed his own company along with his wife, brother and former Hampton Institute students. His group consisted of four men and six women. McAdoo and his troupe toured Australia and Africa as a jubilee & minstrel company. During the first tour, the repertoire of the jubilee singers was filled mostly with African American spirituals. It was not until the middle of the second tour, when McAdoo returned to the colony with an expanded troupe that included minstrel and vaudeville performers, that McAdoo’s program resembled that of the traditional minstrel show. McAdoo died an untimely death while traveling in Australia in 1900.
McAdoo Minstrels created a significant impact upon the music scene in Cape Town South Africa, the troupe later influenced the creation and formation of the Kaapse Klopse or Coon Carnival. The Kaapse Klopse (or simply Klopse) is a minstrel festival that takes place annually in Cape Town, South Africa.