Reimagining Your Work as Offering

Bethany Jenkins | June 22, 2016

Ollie Watts Davis (DMA, University of Illinois) is a professor of music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and conductor of the award-winning University of Illinois Black Chorus. As a vocal artist, Davis made her New York debut at Carnegie Hall in 1990, has been heard on NPR, and has released three albums. She is a life member of the National Council of Negro Women and co-founder of the TALKS Mentoring Leadership Program. She is actively involved in Grace Fellowship Church in Champaign where her husband, the Rev. Dr. Harold D. Davis, serves as pastor. They have five adult children and three grandchildren.

What do you do every day?

As a professor, I’m usually either meeting with other faculty at the school of music, teaching aspiring singers in my studio, or conducting my favorite choir, the University of Illinois Black Chorus. As a performing artist, I’m usually at the piano in my house, doing vocal exercises or learning new music for a concert program. I also read literature, study languages, and do translations.

Have you ever had a vocal injury that has kept you from work?

Whatever is happening to me affects my voice, so I try to live a healthy…

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