Jeannie Gayle Pool Collection on Zenobia Powell Perry
618 South Michigan
Chicago, Illinois 60605
Phone: (312) 369-7586
Extent: .63 Linear Feet
Zenobia Powell Perry was an American composer and educator. She was born in Boley, Oklahoma, in 1908, of Creek Indian and African-American extraction. She studied education at Tuskegee, earned a Master’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado, and held several teaching jobs. Her musical education included studies with R. Nathaniel Dett at Hampton University and Darius Milhaud at the University of Wyoming, where she earned an M.M. in composition in 1954. She taught music on the faculties of Arkansas A.M. & N. College (1947-1955) and Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio (1955-1982). Her songs and spiritual arrangements were sung in concerts by her daughter, Janis-Rozena Peri, and by soprano Sebronette Barnes, and her compositions were also performed locally at Central State University. She also participated in national conferences on women composers and black composers. She died in Xenia, Ohio, in 2004.
Scope and Content Note:
The collection consists primarily of photocopies of biographical materials and of programs and some correspondence concerning Perry’s career as a composer, plus an oral history interview with Perry conducted by Jeannie Gayle Pool in Yellow Springs, Ohio, July 1993. An inventory for the collection can be found in Pool’s biography of Perry, American Composer Zenobia Powell Perry: Race and Gender in the 20th Century (Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2009).