Eastman’s Women’s Chorus Welcomes Guest Composer and Arranger Dr. Rosephanye Powell Plus, Repertory Singers and Eastman Chorale

September 30, 2019

More Information:
For Media Only: Jessica A. Kaufman (585-274-1057, jkaufman@esm.rochester.edu)

The University of Rochester / Eastman School of Music’s Women’s Chorus presents a concert of music from guest composer and arranger Dr. Rosephanye Powell (pronounced Row-SEF-a-knee), on Saturday, October 19 at 3 p.m. in Kilbourn Hall. Powell will guest conduct the Women’s Chorus. Included as part of the afternoon’s performance are programs by Eastman’s Repertory Singers and the Eastman Chorale, conducted by Noemi Binag, Caleb Hopkins, and Dr. William Weinert.

The Eastman Women’s Chorus, directed by Dr. Philip Silvey, Associate Professor of Music Education and Chair of the Department of Music Teaching and Learning, is a select ensemble made up of Eastman music majors, as well as women in other majors throughout the University of Rochester.

Silvey notes, “Musicians in the Women’s Chorus learn to see the world through the eyes and ears of composers whose works they perform. Bringing Dr. Powell here to conduct a concert of her works offers students a rare opportunity to connect personally with her and her perspective.” 

Powell’s appearance is made possible through Eastman Departmental Diversity Initiative funding.  Three departments, Music Teaching and Learning, Conducting and Ensembles, and Voice and Opera, jointly sponsor her visit.

Powell’s work being performed includes: Ogo Ni Fun Oluwa! (Glory to God in the Highest); Keep Yo’ Lamps; I Want to Die While You Love Me; and others. Eastman Repertory Singers will perform Mendelssohn’s Hear My Prayer and Mozart’s “Coronation” Mass. The Eastman Chorale will sing Brahms Warum ist das Licht gegeben.

Eastman Chorale is a select ensemble of singers from the Eastman School of Music performing the finest choral repertoire from the past five centuries.  The Chorale consists primarily of graduate and undergraduate students in vocal performance, conducting and music education. The Eastman Chorale has performed by invitation at conferences of the National Collegiate Choral Association.  The choir tours annually and has performed at both ACDA and MENC conferences. 

The Eastman Repertory Singers is a mixed 60-voice chorus of Eastman students presenting frequent performances under the direction of graduate students in conducting, in styles ranging from Renaissance madrigals and motets to premieres of contemporary choral works. Recent concerts have included the Haydn Lord Nelson Mass, the Duruflé Requiem, and works of Rachmaninoff, Mozart, and Bach. This chorus includes students in vocal performance, conducting, piano, organ, composition, and music education.

Dr. Rosephanye Dunn Powell has been hailed as one of America’s premier women composers of choral music. She 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.   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.

An accomplished singer and voice professor, Dr. Powell’s research has focused on the art of the African-American spiritual, the art songs of William Grant Still (dean of African-American composers), 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.  For full bio visit: http://rosephanyepowell.com/biography/

The concert is free and open to the public. 

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About Eastman School of Music:

The Eastman School of Music was founded in 1921 by industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman (1854-1932), founder of Eastman Kodak Company. It was the first professional school of the University of Rochester. Mr. Eastman’s dream was that his school would provide a broad education in the liberal arts as well as superb musical training. The current dean is Jamal Rossi, appointed in 2014.

More than 900 students are enrolled in the Collegiate Division of the Eastman School of Music—about 500 undergraduates and 400 graduate students. They come from almost every state, and approximately 23 percent are from other countries. They are taught by a faculty comprised of more than 130 highly regarded performers, composers, conductors, scholars, and educators. They are Pulitzer Prize winners, Grammy winners, Emmy winners, Guggenheim Fellows, ASCAP Award recipients, published authors, recording artists, and acclaimed musicians who have performed in the world’s greatest concert halls. Each year, Eastman’s students, faculty members, and guest artists present more than 900 concerts to the Rochester community.