Zenobia Perry  
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Biography
Chronology
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Recent Activities
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Chronology


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, 1980Three 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.






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