Rhapsody in Black

Rosephanye Powell writes music that touches the heart

Rosephanye PowellCourtesy of the artist

Rhapsody in Black - Rosephanye Powell


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December 22, 2022

Composer Rosephanye Powell has created a wealth of wonderful new compositions and has had a distinguished career as a teacher and singer. She graduated with a degree in music education and achieved a master’s and doctorate in music performance.  She researched and gave lecture recitals focused on the works of William Grant Still and African-American Spirituals. It became a powerful influence on her later work. 

Musical selections from Rosephanye Powell

“The Word Was God”

While written in the style of a spiritual, this work is not a spiritual. The layering of sound upon sound creates a musical tapestry that creates an excellent interplay between voices.

“To Sit and Dream”

To sit and dream, to sit and read,

To sit and learn about the world

This song is set to the words from a poem by Langston Hughes that invites us to learn and grow toward dreams of a better world with a more just society.

“When We Sing“

Powell's "When We Sing" was written for Cantus in 2014. It originated from the program Fields of Wonder that took place at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in the spring of 2021.


Host: Tesfa Wondemagegnehu

Producer: Dan Nass

Writers: Andrea Blain and Scott Blankenship

Additional music selections: Jeffrey Yelverton

Executive Producer: Julie Amacher