The following is an excerpt from Dr. Jeannie Gayle Pool's Ph.D. dissertation completed in May 2002 at the Claremont Graduate University and it is protected under U.S. copyright law.
October 3, 1908 Born, daughter of Dr. Calvin B. Powell and Birdie Thompson Powell in Boley, Okfuskgee County, Oklahoma.
August 22, 1915 She met Booker T. Washington who spoke at a city park in Boley. She sang the Tuskegee anthem for him and he declared she was a future Tuskegegian.
1919 Won piano competition, at age 11
May 22, 1925 Graduated from Boley High School
Summer, 1929 Studied at Cecil Berryman Conservatory, Omaha, Nebraska
Fall, 1931 Went to Hampton Institute to study with R. Nathaniel Dett; followed him to Rochester, NY. and studied with him privately until May 1932.
Thanksgiving 1932 Married violinist "King" Earl Gaynor
August 21, 1933 Son, Lemuel was born.
1933 Divorced from Earl Gaynor.
September, 1935 Entered Tuskegee Institute as a Freshman.
May 26, 1938 Received B.S. degree from Tuskegee Institute
July 12, 1939 Performed movement of Grieg Piano Concerto at Langston University.
May, 1941 Married Jimmie Rogers Perry
September, 1941 Began degree program at Colorado State Teachers College, Greeley, Colorado
1942-43 Taught first grade
October, 1942 Father, Calvin Bethel Powell died at the age of 79
August 29, 1943 Daughter Janis born in Tulsa, Oklahoma
October 2, 1943 R. Nathaniel Dett dies at the age of 61
1943-44 Worked as teacher in Pawnee, Oklahoma
Spring, 1944 Son Lemuel died of ruptured appendix
August 31, 1945 Graduated from Colorado State College of Education with Master of Arts degree.
1947-1955 Taught at Arkansas A.M , and N.College, Pine Bluff
Spring 1949 Began work in composition studies at Wyoming University. Piano and composition with Alan Willman and composition with Darius Milhaud; attended Aspen Music Festival for special workshop with Milhaud.
1949-1955 Toured in piano duo with Kelton Lawrence to recruit students for Arkansas A.M. & N.
August 20, 1954 Received Masters in Music in composition from University of Wyoming.
April 19, 1955 Performance of Symphonic Poem by Zenobia Perry on Founder's Day program at Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College, Pine Bluff, Arkansas, by the College Band, Harold S. Strong, conductor, Caldwell Hall Auditorium.
October, 1955 Joined faculty of Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio
Summer, 1957 Participant, Aspen Conference on Contemporary Music.
September 29, 1963 Honored at San Francisco Concert along with Darius Milhaud and Dave Brubeck; performances by Emme Kemp Trio and pianist William Hollis.
August 15, 1967 Mother, Birdie Thompson Powell Jenkins died at the age of 77
June 1, 1970 New York premiere of Heritage and Life, A Cycle of Songs, Lincoln Center, at the Library and Museum of the Performing Arts. Janis-Rozena Peri, soprano and Judith Gels, piano.
October 25, 1974 Performance on Canada Council Arts Festival Concert at the University of Victoria in British Columbia of Choral Suite No. 1 for tape sounds, percussion, piano and mixed chorus.
May 22, 1977 Premiere of The Hidden Words of Bahá'u'lláh at Carnegie Recital Hall, Janis-Rozena Peri, soprano; favorably reviewed in the New York Times.
March 8, 1980 Three Designs for Four Strings (1964) was read at the Conference/Workshop on Twentieth Century String Quartets by Women Composers, New York City.
March 29, 1981 Participated at First National Congress on Women in Music at New York University, where Janis-Rozena Peri sang Five Songs on Texts by Paul Laurence Dunbar.
1982 Retired from Central State University
1985 Appointed Faculty Emerita, Central State University
April, 1986 Guest Composer at Dana New Music Festival at Youngstown State University, Ohio. Her compositions were performed with conductor Dr. Jo Ann Lanier (now called Lanyé, whose doctoral dissertation at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, Illinois, was "The Concert Songs of Zenobia Powell Perry."
May, 1987 Premiere of opera Tawawa House, Central State University.
October 17, 1987 Honored with a Music Citation for distinguished service to Ohio in the field of music at the Ohioans Library Association.
February 20, 21, 1987 Works performed at "Symposium in Celebration of Black American Women in Music," California State University, Northridge
March 19, 1988 Honored by Ohio National Organization of Women at the NOW Banquet in Columbus, as a part of their second annual women's history celebration.
May 15, 1988 Four Mynyms for Three Players was presented at concert of Music of Black American Composers at the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution, Hall of Musical Instruments, Washington, D.C.
January 31, 1989 Performance of Ships That Pass in the Night, premiered at West Virginia University, on graduate recital of James L. Tully.
1989 Diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer.
1990 Publication of Perry's Homage to William Dawson on his 90th birthday, published by Hildegard Publishing Company.
February 17, 1991 Premiere of Echoes from the Journey with Cleveland Chamber Symphony, conudcted by Edwin London with soloist Jo Ann Lanyé.
September 28, 1991 Inducted into the Greene County [Ohio] Women's Hall of Fame
April 13, 1993 Concert at West Virginia State University including Tempo for Wind Symphony and Soprano and Ships That Pass in the Night, Don Wilcox conductor; Narrator Larry Christianson.
May 12, 1993 Inducted in Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame
Spring, 1996 Surgery and health problems.
May 30, 1998 Honored as Outstanding Alumni of the University of Wyoming.
November 18, 1998 Named as one of Top Ten women for 1998 by Dayton Daily News.
March 14, 1999 Performance of Echoes from the Journey by Leberta Clark, mezzo soprano, The Afro-American Chamber Music Society Orchestra, conducted by Dwayne E. Smith, at Holman United Methodist Church, Los Angeles, California.
April 25, 1999 Woman of the Year Award, Paul Laurence Dunbar House State Memorial, Dayton, Ohio.
May 20, 2000 Named 2000 Outstanding Senior Citizen of Green County, Ohio.
January 18, 2002 Elected to membership in American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers as a composer.
January 21, 2002 Received 2002 Cultural Arts Award for outstanding contributions in the field of Music Education, National Afro-American Museum, Wilberforce, Ohio.