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Biography

Roy Jennings is the founder and artistic director of Arch Angel Productions, a not-for-profit performance company for the presentation of African-American concert music, with a special emphasis on the African-American Spiritual. He was formerly Assistant Minister of Music at the world-renowned Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem where he served as a musician for 25 years. Many of his compositions were created and first performed during his tenure at Abyssinian. He is presently engaged as a performance coach in the post-graduate studies program at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York since the fall of 2013.

 

As a pianist, Mr. Jennings has engaged in a wide spectrum of activities including a 5 seasons as pianist with the Chelsea Ensemble Chamber Music group, solo pianist in the Oxford University Press’ album of piano music by Valerie Capers, accompanist for the United Negro College Fund choir, pianist and teacher at the Fiorello LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts, pianist for Manhattan Performing Arts Collective, for Theatre and Dance, as well as accompanist for numerous performing artist in the metropolitan area. Mr. Jennings made his New York recital debut at Alice Tully Hall in 1991. Roy Jennings has been a guest lecturer at Queens College for 6 semesters starting at 2011 for the course, African-American Spirituals, Performance Practices.

 

As choral conductor and through his work at the Abyssinian Baptist Church, Roy Jennings has presented and collaborated with two of the giants in the field of choral arrangements of African-American spirituals, Roland Carter (2005) and the late composer/pianist Moses Hogan (2002). The Forever-Amen Choral ensemble during its’ 15-year history united with choral singers from across the country in the performance and presentation of this great literature, from Edward Boatner to Joseph Joubert.

 

Appearances at symposia and conferences as performer and lecturer on behalf of the Music of African-American composers and arrangers of spirituals has afforded Mr. Jennings the opportunity to advocate on behalf of this literature’s inclusion in the canon of American concert repertoire. His recent appearances have been at Queens College for a solo Masterclass and a number at choral practice and performance sessions, before the Amistad Commission of New Jersey, and for The African-American Art Song Alliance in Irvine, California.

Mr. Jennings has arranged a variety of hymns, spirituals, and art songs for solo voice and piano. For
a listing his published ands soon-to-be published works, please visit www.roy-jennings.com/publications