ACF is thrilled to announce that composer Dr. Rosephanye Powell has been selected as the 2016-2017 ChoralQuest® composer. Powell will work with choir director Teresa Rhyne at Auburn Junior High in Auburn, AL. Auburn Junior High was selected by the composer to host the residency due to its strong music program, talented leadership, and excellence of programs including recent performances at AMEA, Alabama All-State CHORUS and other festivals.

Powell expressed, “I am excited about the opportunity to work with the students at Auburn Junior High and Ms. Rhyne! I look forward to our journey together, composing a work that will be sung by children around the country and perhaps the world!”

ChoralQuest is a music series written especially for middle-level choirs by world-class composers. The series is designed to breathe new life into the available repertoire for choral students in middle school and junior high, introduce students to the composition process, and give commissioned composers the unique opportunity and challenge of writing new works for young, changing voices.

Based on the success of the American Composers Forum’s decade-long BandQuest® program, the composers selected for ChoralQuest partner with a middle school in their area. Composers visit rehearsals and engage with the students before composing a piece specifically for the choir. These pieces are published by ACF and will be distributed exclusively by the Hal Leonard Corporation. The experience is fully funded and provided free of cost to Auburn Junior High.

Students can expect rich experiences working with Dr. Powell. She will visit the school several times over the next months, giving students the opportunity to interact with a living composer as she writes a new piece specifically for a choir at the school. Rhyne, Auburn Junior High’s Choir Director, reflects on the opportunity saying, “What an honor and privilege for the Auburn Junior High School Choral Program to have been selected to host composer-in-residence, Dr. Rosephanye Powell.  This may be a once-in-a-lifetime venture for our young musicians, and I’m thrilled for them to have this opportunity!” The premiere performance will take place on May 9, 2017.

Dr. Rosephanye Powell

Dr. Rosephanye Powell has been hailed as one of America’s premier women composers of choral music. Dr. Powell serves as Charles W. Barkley Endowed Professor and Professor of Voice at Auburn University.  Recent commission and premiere highlights include: Friendship composed in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus; What Shall I Come (SATB), composed for the St. Olaf Choir 2015 Winter Tour in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Dr. Anton Armstrong, conductor, and premiered at Carnegie Hall, (Feb. 2015).

Dr. Powell travels the country and internationally serving as a workshop clinician, conductor, and adjudicator for solo vocal competitions/auditions, honor choirs, choral workshops and festivals. Recent commitments include the Oklahoma MEA All-State High School Women’s Choir, conductor; Kansas MEA All-State High School Women’s Choir, conductor;  Festival Disney Choral Festival, clinician and adjudicator;  North Carolina MEA Professional Development Conference (presenter) and High School SATB Honor Choir (conductor); Melbourne International Singers Festival (AUS), conductor-composer-in-residence; Georgia All-State Chorus, Senior Women Chorus, conductor; the New York State School Music Association (Rochester), presenter; the Georgia Music Educators Association Conference (Savannah), presenter; the Middle Tennessee Vocal Association Treble Honor Choir (Nashville), conductor; the World Choir Games (Cincinnati, OH), adjudicator; the Italian Feder Gospel Choirs Workshop (Milan, Italy), conductor-composer-in-residence.

She holds degrees from The Florida State University, Westminster Choir College, and Alabama State University. Dr. Powell served on the faculties of Philander Smith College (AR) and Georgia Southern University prior to Auburn University.

This commission is made possible with generous support from Alfred and Ann Moore.

For more information, please visit www.ChoralQuest.org or contact Laura Krider at [email protected]

Download the ChoralQuest press release here.