Life (Cycle of Songs on Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar)

Original Listing

Paul Laurence Dunbar, Life

Biographical Information

(1908-2004) Zenobia Powell Perry was a composer, professor, and civil rights activist born in Boley, Oklahoma. While growing up, she learned violin and received piano instruction from 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, New York, until 1932, then studied at the Tuskegee Institute from 1935 to 1938 under William L. Dawson. In 1945, she received her master's degree from Colorado State College. Perry worked on her master's 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 taught at University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff (1947-1955) and was a faculty member and composer-in-residence at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio (1955-1982). Her compositions have been performed by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the Detroit Symphony, West Virginia University Band and Orchestra, and other singers and performing ensembles.

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