Rosephanye Powell has undoubtedly earned the place as one of our great female choral composers. Her writing style is accessible for singers of all ages, making her a popular composer featured on Honor and All-State Choir Programs. Whether writing a short octavo-length piece or an extended work, her knowledge of the voice, voice leading, and her gift for melody will ensure the consumer a high-quality composition.
Andre Thomas, Conductor
National Vice President ACDA
Visiting Professor of Choral Conducting
Dr. Rosephanye Dunn Powell has been hailed as one of America’s premier women composers of solo vocal and choral music. As a choral composer, Dr. Powell has an impressive catalogue of works published by some of the nation’s leading publishers, including the Hal Leonard Corporation, the Fred Bock Music Company/Gentry Publications, Oxford University Press, Alliance Music Publications, and Shawnee. Dr. Powell is commissioned yearly to compose for university choruses, professional, community and church choirs, as well as secondary school choruses.
With the strong success of Miss Wheatley’s Garden, released in 2015, Dr. Powell made an impressive debut as a composer of art songs for solo voice and piano. Her well-crafted art songs, as with her choral works, are indicative not only of Dr. Powell’s ability to understand the human voice and write beautiful melodic lines, but also her ability to touch the heart and soul of both performer and listener. Miss Wheatley’s Garden has received premieres and performances throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. In July 2021, Dr. Powell will release her song cycle, Then, Here and Now (Gentry Publications: JG0747, high voice; JG0748, low voice), a cycle of four original art songs based on African American Spirituals. (See Art Songs Art Songs – Rosephanye Powell). She is in great demand as a presenter of lectures and master classes on spirituals and art songs by African American composers nationally and internationally.
Dr. Powell’s choral works have been conducted and premiered by nationally-renowned choral conductors, including, but not limited to, Anton Armstrong, Philip Brunelle, Bob Chilcott, Rodney Eichenberger, Tom Hall, Albert McNeil, Tim Seelig, and André Thomas. Her work has been auctioned by Chorus America and her compositions are in great demand at choral festivals around the country, frequently appearing on the regional and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, as well as Honor Choir festivals. Dr. Powell’s compositions include sacred and secular works for mixed chorus, women’s chorus, men’s chorus, and children’s voices. Dr. Powell serves as Professor of Voice at Auburn University. She holds degrees from The Florida State University (D.M. in vocal performance, University Fellow), Westminster Choir College (M.M. in vocal performance and pedagogy, with distinction), and Alabama State University (B.M.E., summa cum laude). Dr. Powell served on the faculties of Philander Smith College (AR) and Georgia Southern University prior to her arrival at Auburn University in 2001.
A highly commissioned composer for professional, university, community,
church and secondary school choruses, Dr. Powell regularly serves as a conductor for All-State and Honor Choirs around the country. Recent commission and premiere highlights include: Love Will Make A Way (SATB) premiered by the Metropolitan Youth Chorale of New York at Lincoln Center, NY; Get Busy (SATB) premiered and conducted by the composer at Carnegie Hall, NY; A Christmas Medley (SATB), commissioned and performed by multi-Grammy award-winning Chanticleer; When I Sing (SSA), commissioned by the American Composers Forum CHORALQUEST series; I Want to Die While You Love Me (SSAA), composed for the ACDA Women’s Choirs Commission Consortium; Gospel Trinity (SATB), commissioned by the Brehm Center for Worship, Theology and the Arts/Fuller Theological Seminary (CA) and premiered at the Lincoln Center, NY; With What Shall I Come (SATB), composed for the St. Olaf Choir celebration of the 25th anniversary of Dr. Anton Armstrong, conductor, and premiered at Carnegie Hall; and The Cry of Jeremiah, a four-movement sacred work for narrator, chorus, organ and orchestra, commissioned by the American Guild of Organists, premiered at the Lincoln Center, NY; Arise Beloved, commissioned by OurSong (Atlanta, GA) one of four works premiered as part of the group’s choral cycle “And Nature Smiled,” performed at the internationally-acclaimed Spivey Hall; Christmas Give, a suite of five songs for SATB and orchestra, composed for the Baltimore Choral Arts Society Christmas CD “Christmas at America’s First Cathedral” released by Gothic Records; and Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit, arranged for The Sofia Chamber Choir “Vassil Arnaudov”- Bulgaria, Southeastern Europe.
An accomplished singer and voice professor, Dr. Powell’s research focuses on the art of the African-American spiritual and voice care concerns for voice professionals (specifically, music educators, choral directors, and choral singers). She travels the country and internationally presenting lectures, song demonstrations, and serving as a workshop clinician, conductor, and adjudicator for solo vocal competitions/auditions, honor choirs, choral workshops and festivals. Recent commitments include Melbourne International Singers Festival (AUS); the New York State School Music Association (Rochester); the Georgia Music Educators Association Conference (Savannah); Middle Tennessee Vocal Association Treble Honor Choir (Nashville); the World Choir Games (Cincinnati, OH); the Italian Feder Gospel Choirs Workshop (Milan, Italy); Alabama Music Educators Association High School Honor Choir (Montgomery); Samford University (Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts) (Birmingham, AL); South Carolina Music Educators Association State Conference (Charleston); AGO National Conference (Nashville, TN); Summer Sing Choral Workshop and Tuning at Tahoe Music Directors Workshop (Lake Tahoe, NV); and Capital Area Music Association (Harrisburg, PA).
As a researcher, Dr. Powell’s recent articles include Keeping the “Choir” in Showchoir published in the Amercan Choral Directors Journal; William Grant Still: His Life and His Songs and The African-American Spritual: Preparation and Performance Considerations both published in the prestigious NATS Journal of Singing. She served as the editor and wrote the introduction for William Grant Still: An Art Song Collection which is published by William Grant Still Music.
Dr. Powell has received numerous awards including the “Living Legend Award” presented by California State University African Diaspora Sacred Music Festival in Los Angeles. She was listed in the first edition of the international publication Who Is Who in Choral Music. And, she has been included in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and Outstanding Young Women in America in recent years. Dr. Powell is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the College Music Society (CMS), the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and the Music Educators National Conference (MENC).