Morgan Powell, born in West Texas in 1938, is a composer and jazz trombonist whose works are performed internationally. Powell’s primary compositional interests are in the areas of instrumental and vocal music; he explores 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 has received are three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships; a Fromm Scholarship; two appointments as Associate to the Center for Advanced Study – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC); seven Grants from the Research Board UIUC; an American Music Center Grant (1992); six Illinois Arts Council; numerous Meet the Composer Awards; ASCAP Awards, 1976, yearly to present; MacDowell Colony, Ragdale Foundation, a UCross Foundation and Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts artists residencies; and selection by The International Rostrum of Composers, Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2000 for “The Waterclown.”
Powell’s compositions are 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 Ed Summerlin, Samuel Adler, Kenneth Gaburo, and Sal Martirano; he has 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.