Upcoming Events

NYCC Programs Day

Diversity in Action: Composer Meet and Greet

Saturday, October 23, 10AM - 1PM

Event will take place via Zoom

Join us to meet 6 dynamic African-American choral composers.
Each composer will speak about their composition style and share one of their pieces with additional time for Q&A at the end.

Please register and pay using the form on this page.

Cedric Dent, a native of Detroit, Michigan, was a baritone vocalist, music arranger, and co-producer of the 10-time GRAMMY Award-winning vocal group, TAKE 6. In 2011, Dr. Dent retired from TAKE 6 after 25 years with the group. He is also a 2-time Grammy-nominated music arranger and created several arrangements for the Grammy-award winning recording Handel’s Messiah A Soulful Celebration (1992). In 2014, Dent rejoined TAKE 6 for their induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, TN.  A professor at Middle Tennessee State University, Dent directs the MTSU Singers (a vocal jazz ensemble), teaches a course he developed on the history of black gospel music, and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in music theory. He also coordinates the School of Music’s internship program for music industry majors.  Dent continues to compose and arrange for various live and recording projects, and has traditional choral works and vocal jazz ensemble arrangements published by Walton Music and Anchor Music Publications.

A Virginia native, Marques L. A. Garrett (he/him/his) is an Assistant Professor of Music in Choral Activities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the Glenn Korff School of Music. His responsibilities include conducting the auditioned Chamber Singers and non-auditioned University Chorale (soprano-alto) as well as teaching graduate choral literature and undergraduate conducting. Before earning his PhD in Music Education (Choral Conducting) at Florida State University, he was the Director of Choral Activities at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, he holds an MM from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a BA from Hampton University.

Dr. Garrett is a conductor and composer of choral and solo-vocal music whose compositions have been performed to acclaim by high school all-state, collegiate, and professional choirs including Seraphic Fire and the Oakwood University Aeolians. GIA Publications, Walton Music, Santa Barbara Music Publishing, Hinshaw Music, G. Schirmer, Beckenhorst Press, and Carus-Verlag have published several of his compositions.  As a researcher, his most advantageous topic is the non-idiomatic choral music of black composers. His lectures at state and regional conferences of the American Choral Directors Association and at other local and national venues afford him the opportunity to showcase this underrepresented area of music. Dr. Garrett holds membership in the American Choral Directors Association; American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers; National Collegiate Choral Organization; and Pi Kappa Lambda. With the National Association of Negro Musicians, he currently serves as the national scholarship chair.

Dr. Diane White-Clayton—composer, soprano, pianist, choral conductor, workshop clinician, author, minister and speaker—is a native of Washington, DC where she began performing at the age of four.  She holds a Ph.D. and MA in Music Composition from the University of California, Santa Barbara and received her Bachelor of Arts in Music with honors from the Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.  As an Ambassador of Goodwill, she studied on a Rotary Scholarship to Paris, France, studying piano at the Ecole Normale de Musique.  A highly acclaimed performer of classical, gospel and jazz, she has held positions with such institutions as Grinnell College, Appalachian State University, Westmont College, the University of California at Santa Barbara, the Washington Performing Arts Society and the St. Louis Black Repertory Theatre Company.

Her choral compositions have been performed across the globe and she travels extensively as a performer and conductor of workshops throughout the United States and abroad. Affectionately known as “Dr. Dee,” she has self-produced recordings and several published compositions.  Diane is on staff as a Choral Conductor at the 6,000-member Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood, California and is the Artistic Director of the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers.  She also works as a Vocal Clinician for Disney Performing Arts, and is a member of the faculty at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California where she resides with her husband, accomplished R&B percussionist, Joe Clayton.

Dr. Rosephanye Powell serves as a Professor of Voice at Auburn University.  Dr. Powell teaches applied voice, art song literature, and vocal pedagogy courses.  She conducts the Women’s Chorus and co-conducts the AU Gospel Choir.  Dr. Powell holds degrees from The Florida State University, Westminster Choir College, and Alabama State University. She served on the faculties of Philander Smith College (AR) and Georgia Southern University prior to Auburn University.  Her primary performance and research areas are the African-American spiritual, the art songs of William Grant Still, and voice-care concerns for choral singers and directors.  Dr. Powell has performed recitals and served as a clinician at venues nationally and internationally.

Dr. Powell has been hailed as one of America’s premier women composers of choral music. She has an impressive catalogue of works published by leading national and international publishers, including the Hal Leonard Corporation, the Fred Bock Music Company/Gentry Publications, Oxford University Press, Alliance Music Publications, and Shawnee. Dr. Powell is commissioned yearly to compose for professional, university, community, church and secondary school choruses.  Her work has been auctioned by Chorus America and her compositions are in great demand at choral festivals around the country, frequently appearing on the regional and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, as well as All-State and Honor Choir festivals.  Praised for their rhythmic energy, colorful harmonies, and well-crafted vocal lines, Dr. Powell’s compositions include sacred and secular works for mixed, women’s, men’s, and children’s voices.  She serves yearly as a conductor for All-State and Honor Choirs around the country.  Additionally, she is a clinician and adjudicator for choral festivals, including Festival Disney.

Dr. Timothy Amukele is a composer and arranger of vocal music. He graduated from City College of the City University of New York, where he majored in Music Theory and Biochemistry. His commissions include “I will rise”, by the New York regional chapter of the National Association of Negro Musicians; Dr. Amukele is a working physician.  Dr. Timothy Amukele is an Associate professor in the Department of Pathology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. His expertise is in clinical laboratories in developing countries. He pioneered several innovations including, the use of medical drones in hard-to-reach places and the List of Essential Diagnostics, which has been adopted by the WHO.


Dr. Amukele is the chief of Pathology and the Director of Clinical Laboratories at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, as well as the President of Pathologist’s Overseas Inc., a US-based non-profit organization dedicated to developing sustainable histopathology and laboratory medicine services in low- and middle-income countries.


Dr. Amukele earned his MD and PhD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and completed his residency in Clinical Pathology at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Pathology.

Dr. Kathy Bullock is an educator, scholar, singer, accompanist, arranger and choral conductor who specializes in gospel music, spirituals and classical works by composers from the African diaspora.  A Professor Emerita of Music from Berea College, Berea, Kentucky, she currently teaches, performs, and conducts workshops and other programs on African American music throughout the United States, Europe, and Africa.  Dr. Bullock earned a Ph.D. and M.A. in Music Theory from Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and a B.A. in Music from Brandeis University, MA.  At Berea College she taught Music Theory, African-American Music, World Music, and other courses in music and general studies. She also directed Berea’s Black Music Ensemble, a choral ensemble that specializes in African American sacred music, developing a small student-run ensemble into an accredited, diverse, and exciting course that averaged seventy students each semester.  Additionally, Dr. Bullock designed and led new international study courses in Ghana, Zimbabwe, and Jamaica.


Dr. Bullock’s presentations include workshops on spirituals and gospel music and explorations of musical connections between African American culture and West African and Appalachian cultures. Other research areas include the Music of the Civil Rights Movement, and African American Women’s Contributions to the Women’s Suffrage Movement.  Other research projects include the completion of an edition of art songs by contemporary African-American composers. 

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