Zenobia Powell Perry

1908-2004

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Zenobia Powell Perry (October 3, 1908 – January 17, 2004) was an American composer, professor and civil rights activist. She taught in a number of historically black colleges and universities and composed in a style that writer Jeannie Gayle Pool called "music with clear, classic melodies." Her work has been performed by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the Detroit Symphony and West Virginia University Band and Orchestra.

Perry worked as a professor for much of her life and began seriously composing when she was in her forties. From 1941 to 1945 Perry taught while attending the Colorado State Teachers College. Two years later, she held a faculty position at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), where she remained until 1955. During the years of 1949 and until she left UAPB, Perry toured with Kelton Lawrence as a piano duo in order to recruit students for UAPB.

From 1955 to 1982, she was a faculty member and composer-in-residence at Central State University, in Wilberforce, Ohio. She continued to volunteer "on behalf of the African American community" after she retired.

In 1998 she was honored by the University of Wyoming, winning the Arts and Sciences Outstanding Alumni Award.

from Wikipedia