The Westminster Choir College Alumni Association presented Alumni Merit Awards to three Westminster graduates at the Alumni Luncheon during the 2014 Westminster Reunions. Awards were presented to Lynnel Joy Jenkins ’94, Julia Kemp Rothfuss ’66, Rosephanye Dunn Powell MM’87, who was unable to attend the luncheon.
Respected for her experience and work with high school choirs, Jenkins is in her fifth season as artistic director of the Princeton Girlchoir and the choral teacher at the Timberlane Middle School of the Hopewell Valley Regional School District in Pennington, N.J. She also serves on the conducting faculty for the Virginia Organization of Kodály Educators Vocal Arts Camp.
Her varied conducting and teaching experience ranges from the elementary to collegiate level. She has served as assistant professor of Music Education at Westminster and conductor of the Resident Training Choir at the American Boychoir School. She was on the conducting staff of the Temple University Children's Choir where she served for three seasons, the last as Associate Music Director. She has lectured and conducted in China, Hong Kong, Iceland and South Africa. She has served as guest conductor for numerous Honor Choirs, All-States, and Choral Festivals in the United States and as a clinician for several professional music conferences.
After graduating from Westminster, where she studied with LoRean Hodapp, Julia attended the Curtis Institute of Music and the Music Academy of the West. She and her husband, Guy Rothfuss, moved to Germany, where she sang as a leading soprano for 23 seasons with the City Opera of Kiel, Germany and the City Opera of Osnabrüch.
Specializing in the works of Mozart and Richard Strauss, she has sung more than 1,000 opera performances of 52 roles. During a Mozart Festival in Kiel, she sang five Mozart prima donna roles in seven days: Donna Elvira, Constanza, The Countess, Pamina and Fiordiligi, twice. She has also appeared as a guest artist in such European cities as Amsterdam, Munich, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Copenhagen, Oslo, Salzburg, Stockholm and Warsaw. Her accomplishments have been recognized through a Fulbright Scholarship, a Pillsbury Foundation Music Scholarship and the Lotte Lehmann Award.
Professor of Voice at Auburn University, Rosephanye Dunn Powell has distinguished herself as a researcher, interpreter and performer of the African-American spiritual and solo vocal works by William Grant Still. She has presented numerous recitals and lecture-recitals at churches, concert halls, universities and professional meetings around the country. Her commercial recording Motherless Child, dedicated to the preservation of the African-American spiritual, has been hailed as a "fresh approach to the spiritual, bridging the past to the present.”
Her doctoral treatise, The Art Songs of William Grant Still, is considered an authoritative work on the subject. She also served as the editor and wrote the introduction for William Grant Still: An Art Song Collection published by William Grant Still Music.Powell has been hailed as one of America's premier women composers of choral music. She has an impressive catalog of works published by some of the nation's leading music publishers, and they have been conducted and premiered by renowned choirs and conductors around the world. She is in frequent demand as a composer-in-residence, clinician, and conductor at universities, schools and churches nationally and internationally. In 2009, the California State University African Diaspora Sacred Music Festival honored Rosephanye with its Living Legend Award.
Photo: Alumni Council President Constance Fee ’71 (center) presented Westminster Alumni Merit Awards to Lynnel Joy Jenkins ’94 and Julia Kemp Rothfuss ’66. The third award recipient, Rosephanye Dunn Powell MM’87, who was unable to attend, sent her heartfelt thanks for the honor.