Powell, Morgan (1938-2023) | University of Illinois Archives
Morgan Powell (1938-2023), born in West Texas, was a composer and jazz trombonist whose works are performed internationally. Powell's primary compositional interests were in the areas of instrumental and vocal music. During his life, he explored the rich and complex components of improvisation and the spirit and elements of jazz, together with "New Music" compositional concepts, techniques and notation.
Among the awards Powell received were three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships; a Fromm Scholarship; two appointments (1972-1973 and 1991-1992) as Associate to the Center for Advanced Study - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC); Grants from the Research Board UIUC (1992, 1993, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2004) an American Music Center Grant (1992); Illinois Arts Council (1987, 1996 Finalist, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2006); numerous Meet the Composer Awards; ASCAP Awards, 1976, yearly to present; two MacDowell Colony, ten Ragdale Foundation, and one UCross Foundation artists residencies; and selection by The International Rostrum of Composers - 1988, Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2000 for "The Waterclown."
Powell's compositions were published by G. Schirmer, Inc., Lingua Press, Smith Publications, Brass Music Limited, Media Press, Brixton Publications and TUBA Manuscript; and are recorded on Crystal Records Company, University Brass Recording Series, Advance, Century, Opus One, GM, TR2, Einstein Records, Chicago Lakeside Jazz, TNC and New World Records. His numerous commissions include Spoleto Festival, USA; Cleveland Chamber Symphony; and Concert Artist Guild.
Powell's primary composition teachers were Samuel Adler, Kenneth Gaburo, Ed Summerlin and Sal Martirano; he taught at The Stan Kenton Clinics, 1960-1964, North Texas University, 1961-1963, Berklee School of Music, Boston, 1963-1964, and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1966-1994 and was chairman of UIUC composition/theory division 1978-1983.