Music, School of


Date of this Version

Winter 2010


Published in Pan Pipes (journal of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity), vol. 102, no. 2 (Winter 2010), pp. 14-15.


The life and career of African-American composer Robert Owens are a result of perseverance, creativity, and accidental opportunity. From his roots in Texas to his travels in France and his eventual settlement in Germany, Owens proves that if one believes in himself and his abilities, nearly any obstacle can be overcome. ... Owens' accomplishments as a composer have gained considerable recognition in the last five years, including the "Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, Rosa Parks Visiting Professorship" at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2004) and The International Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Negro Musicians (2008). Owens received the National Opera Association's "Lift Every Voice" Legacy Award in Washington, D.C. on January 10, 2009. Kappa Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln initiated him as a Friend of the Arts in 2007.

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