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Dwight AndrewsProfessor of Music Theory & African American Music


  • PhDYale University1993


Dwight Andrews, composer, musician, educator, and minister, joined the Emory College faculty in 1987. A native of Detroit, Dr. Andrews is Professor of Music Theory and African American Music at Emory University and Senior Minister of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Atlanta. He received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in music from the University of Michigan. He continued his studies at Yale University, receiving a Master of Divinity degree and a Ph.D. in Music Theory.

While at Yale, Andrews served as Associate Pastor of Christ's Church and was on the faculty of the Music Department and African American Studies Program for over ten years. He also served as the Resident Music Director (1979-1986) at the Yale Repertory Theater under Lloyd Richards. It was during this period that his fruitful association with playwright August Wilson began. As a result, Andrews served as music director for the Broadway productions of August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Fences, The Piano Lesson, and Seven Guitars. He also served as Music Director for the Broadway revival production of Ma Rainey starring Charles S. Dutton and Whoopi Goldberg and collaborated with Director Kenny Leon on the Broadway production of A Raisin in the Sun, starring Sean Combs and Phylicia Rashad. His work has been presented at professional theatres throughout the United States and Great Britain.

Andrews' film credits include PBS Hollywood’s The Old Settler, directed by Debbie Allen and starring Phylicia Rashad, Louis Massiah’s documentary films, W.E.B. DuBois: A Biography in Four Voices and Louise Alone Thompson: In Her Own Words, Charlene Gilbert’s Homecoming, the Hallmark Hall of Fame’s The Piano Lesson, HBO’s Miss Evers’ Boys, and the theme for the PBS documentary on African American contributions to the arts in the twentieth century entitled, I’ll Make Me a World. In addition, he has served as a multi-instrumentalist sideman on over twenty-five jazz and “new music” albums with various artists including, Anthony Braxton, Anthony Davis, James Newton, Wadada Leo Smith, and Jay Hoggard. He recently appeared as a sideman on Andy Bey’s Grammy-nominated American Song (Savoy) and Geri Allen’s, The Life of A Song (Telarc).

He is presently working on a study of Black Music and Race based on his Harvard lectures and a manuscript on spirituality in the works of John Coltrane, Mary Lou Williams, Sun Ra, Dave Brubeck, and Albert Ayler. In addition, Dr. Andrews is editing a collection of critical essays on African American composer William Levi Dawson. These essays were part of a major symposium exploring the legacy of William Dawson, which Andrews presented at Emory University in 2005. In addition, Andrews curated a special program celebrating the opening of the Romare Bearden exhibition at the High Museum in Atlanta. The event entitled, Bearden’s Blues and other Colors, featured Branford Marsalis and his Quartet, as well as, actors Carl Gordon, and Emmy Award Winners Charles S. Dutton and S. Epatha Merkenson.

Andrews is the recipient of numerous awards, including a 2005 Lexus Leader of the Arts Award, a Pew Trust/TCG Artist Residency Fellowship, a Mellon Fellowship, Emory University's Distinguished Teacher Award, and the Yale Tercentenary Medal from the Yale Club of Georgia. Dr. Andrews was the Artistic Director of the National Black Arts Festival (1996-1998) and, in 1997, was named the first Quincy Jones Visiting Professor of African American Music at Harvard University. Dr. Andrews was a guest visiting professor of composition at the Yale School of Music in 2003 and gave the 2004 Alain Locke Lectures at Harvard.