Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Angelique Clay-Everett


Those who are interested in learning more about Evelyn Simpson-Curenton (b. 1953) will find it challenging to find scholarly material on her life and music. She is best known for her arrangements of spirituals that were sang and recorded by Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman (whose concert recording Spirituals in Concert was released in 1991). Simpson-Curenton is also known for her choral work, “Psalm 91,” made famous by Oakwood University’s Aeolians. Though she is self-published, her absence from compilations, volumes, and anthologies for solo voice and piano is regrettable. This dissertation provides well researched scholarly information about her musical life and contributions. It presents biographical information, a first-person interview, and a descriptive works catalogue for teachers, performers, and research scholars. By highlighting Simpson-Curenton’s work and promoting it, we also actively reckon with the racist past and its exclusion of black voices. The goal of this work is to promote Simpson-Curenton’s music for use by teachers, singers, and coaches. It also works to lift black voices, specifically black female artists, into the spotlight they so deserve.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

This degree and research were funded through:

Alltech Vocal Scholarship- August 2013 - May 2016

Lyman T. Johnson Scholarship- August 2013 - May 2016

Encore Opera - August 2020 - May 2021