June 12: Black Composers – Powell, 2010

Jon CurtisSeason of the Day, SOTD - June

Dr. Rosephanye Dunn Powell has been hailed as one of America’s premiere women composers of choral music. Her compositions include sacred and secular works for mixed chorus, women’s chorus, men’s chorus, and children’s voices. An accomplished singer and voice professor, Dr. Powell’s research has focused on the art of the African-American spiritual.

“The Word Was God” was Rosephanye’s first published piece (with Gentry Publications, an imprint within the Fred Bock Publishing Group, where Allan serves as Vice President of Publications).  It is not a traditional spiritual, but is based on John 1:1-3. 

In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made that have been made.
Nothing was made, He has not made.

The first time Consort sang “The Word Was God” was in 2010, Opus 17 …

Rosephanye Powell, The Word Was God, Opus 17, 2010

The following video is from the Allan Petker Chorale’s tour of Argentina in 2017.   It was performed in the crypt beneath Parroquia María Auxiliadora, Rosario Argentina.

Here is it once more from the Allan Petker Chorale’s tour of the Dalmatian Coast in 2011 where it was the opening song for each concert.  The tour’s video opened with a mashup of “The Word Was God.”  It was then sung on the steps of the Church of Saint Blaise in Dubrovnik Croatia to invite people to come into the church and hear our concert.