The following is an excerpt from Dr. Jeannie Gayle Pool's Ph.D. dissertation
completed in May 2002 at the Claremont Graduate University and it is protected
under U.S. copyright law.
October 3, 1908— Born, daughter of Dr. Calvin B. Powell and Birdie
Thompson Powell in Boley, Okfuskgee County, Oklahoma.
August 22, 1915— She met Booker T. Washington who spoke at a city
park in Boley. She sang the Tuskegee anthem for him and he declared
she was a future Tuskegegian.
1919— Won piano competition, at age 11
May 22, 1925— Graduated from Boley High School
Summer, 1929— Studied at Cecil Berryman Conservatory, Omaha,
Fall, 1931— Went to Hampton Institute to study with R. Nathaniel Dett;
followed him to Rochester, NY. and studied with him privately until
Thanksgiving 1932— Married violinist "King" Earl Gaynor
August 21, 1933— Son, Lemuel was born.
1933— Divorced from Earl Gaynor.
September, 1935— Entered Tuskegee Institute as a Freshman.
May 26, 1938— Received B.S. degree from Tuskegee Institute
July 12, 1939— Performed movement of Grieg Piano Concerto at
May, 1941— Married Jimmie Rogers Perry
September, 1941— Began degree program at Colorado State
Teachers College, Greeley, Colorado
1942-43— Taught first grade
October, 1942— Father, Calvin Bethel Powell died at the age of 79
August 29, 1943— Daughter Janis born in Tulsa, Oklahoma
October 2, 1943— R. Nathaniel Dett dies at the age of 61
1943-44— Worked as teacher in Pawnee, Oklahoma
Spring, 1944— Son Lemuel died of ruptured appendix
August 31, 1945— Graduated from Colorado State College of
Education with Master of Arts degree.
1947-1955— Taught at Arkansas A.M , and N.College, Pine Bluff
Spring 1949— Began work in composition studies at Wyoming
University. Piano and composition with Alan Willman and composition
with Darius Milhaud; attended Aspen Music Festival for special
workshop with Milhaud.
1949-1955— Toured in piano duo with Kelton Lawrence to recruit
students for Arkansas A.M. & N.
August 20, 1954— Received Masters in Music in composition from
University of Wyoming.
April 19, 1955— Performance of Symphonic Poem by Zenobia Perry
on Founder's Day program at Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal
College, Pine Bluff, Arkansas, by the College Band, Harold S. Strong,
conductor, Caldwell Hall Auditorium.
October, 1955— Joined faculty of Central State University in
Summer, 1957— Participant, Aspen Conference on Contemporary
September 29, 1963— Honored at San Francisco Concert along with
Darius Milhaud and Dave Brubeck; performances by Emme Kemp
Trio and pianist William Hollis.
August 15, 1967— Mother, Birdie Thompson Powell Jenkins died at the
age of 77
June 1, 1970— New York premiere of Heritage and Life, A Cycle of
Songs, Lincoln Center, at the Library and Museum of the Performing
Arts. Janis-Rozena Peri, soprano and Judith Gels, piano.
October 25, 1974— Performance on Canada Council Arts Festival
Concert at the University of Victoria in British Columbia of Choral
Suite No. 1 for tape sounds, percussion, piano and mixed chorus.
May 22, 1977— Premiere of The Hidden Words of Bahá'u'lláh at
Carnegie Recital Hall, Janis-Rozena Peri, soprano; favorably reviewed
in the New York Times.
March 8, 1980— Three Designs for Four Strings (1964) was read at the
Conference/Workshop on Twentieth Century String Quartets by
Women Composers, New York City.
March 29, 1981— Participated at First National Congress on Women in
Music at New York University, where Janis-Rozena Peri sang Five
Songs on Texts by Paul Laurence Dunbar.
1982— Retired from Central State University
1985— Appointed Faculty Emerita, Central State University
April, 1986— Guest Composer at Dana New Music Festival at
Youngstown State University, Ohio. Her compositions were
performed with conductor Dr. Jo Ann Lanier (now called Lanyé,
whose doctoral dissertation at the American Conservatory of Music
in Chicago, Illinois, was "The Concert Songs of Zenobia Powell Perry."
May, 1987— Premiere of opera Tawawa House, Central State
October 17, 1987— Honored with a Music Citation for distinguished
service to Ohio in the field of music at the Ohioans Library
February 20, 21, 1987— Works performed at "Symposium in
Celebration of Black American Women in Music," California State
March 19, 1988— Honored by Ohio National Organization of Women
at the NOW Banquet in Columbus, as a part of their second annual
women's history celebration.
May 15, 1988— Four Mynyms for Three Players was presented at
concert of Music of Black American Composers at the National
Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution, Hall of
Musical Instruments, Washington, D.C.
January 31, 1989— Performance of Ships That Pass in the Night,
premiered at West Virginia University, on graduate recital of James
1989— Diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer.
1990— Publication of Perry's Homage to William Dawson on his 90th
birthday, published by Hildegard Publishing Company.
February 17, 1991— Premiere of Echoes from the Journey with
Cleveland Chamber Symphony, conudcted by Edwin London with
soloist Jo Ann Lanyé.
September 28, 1991— Inducted into the Greene County [Ohio]
Women's Hall of Fame
April 13, 1993— Concert at West Virginia State University including
Tempo for Wind Symphony and Soprano and Ships That Pass in the
Night, Don Wilcox conductor; Narrator Larry Christianson.
May 12, 1993— Inducted in Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame
Spring, 1996— Surgery and health problems.
May 30, 1998— Honored as Outstanding Alumni of the University of
November 18, 1998— Named as one of Top Ten women for 1998 by
Dayton Daily News.
March 14, 1999— Performance of Echoes from the Journey by Leberta
Clark, mezzo soprano, The Afro-American Chamber Music Society
Orchestra, conducted by Dwayne E. Smith, at Holman United
Methodist Church, Los Angeles, California.
April 25, 1999— Woman of the Year Award, Paul Laurence Dunbar
House State Memorial, Dayton, Ohio.
May 20, 2000— Named 2000 Outstanding Senior Citizen of Green
January 18, 2002— Elected to membership in American Society of
Composers, Authors and Publishers as a composer.
January 21, 2002— Received 2002 Cultural Arts Award for outstanding
contributions in the field of Music Education, National Afro-American
Museum, Wilberforce, Ohio.
October 1-5, 2003--Celebrated her 95th birthday with a concert tour in
January 17, 2004--Died of cancer in Xenia, Ohio.
All rights reserved. ©Jeannie Gayle Pool, 2014.