Life (Cycle of Songs on Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar)
Paul Laurence Dunbar, Life
(1908-2004) composer, professor, and civil rights activist born in Boley, Oklahoma. While growing up, she learned violin and was also taught piano by Mayme Jones, a student of Robert Nathaniel Dett. She studied music in 1929 at the Cecil Berryman Conservatory, returned to study with Dett at the Eastman School of Music in Hampton, NY until 1932, and then studied at the Tuskegee Institute from 1935-38 under William L. Dawson. In 1945, she received her Master of Arts degree from Colorado State College. Perry worked on her Master's degree in music composition at Wyoming University, where she studied under Allan Arthur Willman, Darius Milhaud and Charles Jones. She wrote songs, piano pieces, chamber works, an opera, and music for orchestra and symphonic wind band. She had taught at University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff (1947-1955) and was a faculty member and composer—in-residence at Central State University in Wilberforce, OH (1955-1982). Her compositions have been performed by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the Detroit Symphony, West Virginia University Band and Orchestra, and other performing ensembles, as well as by many singers.
Powell Perry, Zenobia, "Life (Cycle of Songs on Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar)" (2010). Dunbar Music Archive. 296.