Aaron Dworkin

American Rhapsody

Trad. Arr. Gould:

Battle Hymn of the Republic


The Promised Land


Lift Every Voice and Sing

Aaron Dworkin:

The American Rhapsody


Air for Band


Cave of the Winds


Concerto for Marimba


A Lincoln Portrait

ETSO celebrates the African-American community with Aaron Dworkin’s The American Rhapsody. Set to Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Symphonic Variations on an African Air, this work tells the story of the USA through the prism of the life and words of America’s first president, George Washington. The program includes Battle Hymn of the Republic, performances by Texas College students, ETSO principal percussionist Roland Muzquiz and concludes with Copland’s A Lincoln Portrait narrated by Dr. David O. Dykes, Senior Pastor at Green Acres Baptist Church.

Dworkin’s innate musicality and sense of timing serve him well in exploiting the dramatic arcs, musical peaks and valleys and transitions of mood, from somber and reflective, to passionate and heroic.

Rosalyn Story
Artist Bios
Aaron Dworkin

Named a 2005 MacArthur Fellow, President Obama’s first appointment to the National Council on the Arts and Governor Snyder’s appointment to the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs, Aaron P. Dworkin servedas dean of the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance(SMTD),which is ranked among the top performing arts schools in the nation. He is currently a tenured full professor of arts leadership and entrepreneurship at SMTD as well as serving as a Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. In addition, Aaron is a successful social entrepreneur having foundedThe GinBo Cupwhich focuses on diversity in eSports as well as The Sphinx Organization, the leading arts organization with the mission of transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. He is the producer and host of AaronAsk, a weekly online mentoring show on creativity and leadership. As a successful writer, Aaron has authored The Entrepreneurial Artist: Lessons from Highly Successful Creatives published by Rowman & Littlefield, a science-fiction novel, Ethos: Rise of Malcolm published by MorganJames, as well as his memoir titled Uncommon Rhythm: A Black, White, Jewish, Jehovah's Witness, Irish Catholic Adoptee's Journey to Leadership released through Aquarius Press, a poetry collection, They Said I Wasn’t Really Black, and a children’s book The 1st Adventure of Chilli Pepperz. A lifelong musician, Aaron is a spoken-word performing artist represented by Jensen Artists with a current national tour of his American Rhapsody with a national consortium of orchestras. He has collaborated with a breadth of artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Damien Sneed, Anna Deveare Smith, Damian Woetzel, Lil Buck and others. His visual digital art project, Fractured History, has been exhibited at multiple galleries and museums to rave reviews. He recorded and produced two CDs, entitled Ebony Rhythm and Bar-Talk, in addition to writing, producing, and directing the independent film Deliberation.

A multi-media performing artist, author, social entrepreneur, artist-citizen, and educator, Aaron continually receives extensive national recognition for his leadership and service to communities. He has been featured in People Magazine, on NBC’s Today Show and Nightly News, CNN, NPR’s The Story and Performance Today. He has been the subject of articles in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, Washington Post, Chronicle of Philanthropy, Emerge and Jet Magazines, and many other media outlets, and was named one of Newsweek’s “15 People Who Make America Great.” He is the recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society Honorary Membership, Harvard University’s Vosgerchian Teaching Award, National Governors Association 2005 Distinguished Service to State Government Award, Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award, Detroit News’s 2003 Michiganian of the Year Award, Crain’s 40 Under 40 and Who’s Who Awards, BET’s History Makers in the Making Award, AT&T Excellence in Education Award, and National Black MBA’s Entrepreneur of The Year. 

As an artist curator, he has served as a juror for some of the most prestigious international competitions including the Menuhin Competition, London Music Masters Competition, Stulberg International Violin Competition and the Sphinx Competition. A sought-after global thought leader and a passionate advocate for excellence in arts education, entrepreneurship and leadership,as well as inclusion in the performing arts, Aaron is a frequent keynote speaker and lecturer at numerous national and global arts, creativity and technology conferences including the Aspen Ideas Conference, Independent Sector, Americans for the Arts, Dance USA, Leadership Africa Summit, The League of American Orchestras, National Association for Schools of Music, Merit Member Conference, Society for Music Teacher Education, National Guild for Community Schools of the Arts, National Association of Music Merchants, Chautauqua Institution, National Suzuki Association, American String Teachers Association, Ithaca College,and the National Association for Negro Musicians. He served as commencement speaker at the Curtis Institute of Music, University of Michigan, Longy Conservatory and twice for Bowling Green State University. In May of 2013, the renowned Curtis Institute of Music awarded Honorary Doctorates to Aaron and Sir Simon Rattle, longtime maestro of the Berlin Philharmonic. Aaron also holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in violin performance from the University of Michigan.

Aaron personifies arts leadership, entrepreneurship and community commitment with an unwavering passion for the arts, diversity and their role in society. As dean of the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance, he led a world-class faculty of 180 and a staff of 100 while administering a budget over $60 million, an endowment in excess of $140 million and successfully completing a capital campaign over $90 million. As founder of the Sphinx Organization, Aaron created an international organization with a staff and faculty of over 50 and a budget of $5 million that awards more than $1,000,000 in prizes and scholarships annually. The organization serves as the leading advocate for young people and diversity in the arts worldwide. Aaron also founded and served as publisher and editor-in-chief of The Bard, a literary magazine reaching over 60,000 readers. Aaron serves regularly as a board or advisory member for numerous influential arts organizations including the National Council on the Arts, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, National Association of Performing Arts Presenters, the Avery Fisher Artist Program, Independent Sector’s Advisory Group, League of American Orchestras, National Society for the Gifted and Talented, Creative Many Michigan, the Knight Foundation, The Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, The Michigan Theater, Rachel Elizabeth Barton Foundation, Editorial Board of Downtown New York Magazine and Chamber Music America. As the co-chair of the Arts and Cultural Education Task Force for the State of Michigan, Aaron designed the required arts curriculum for Michigan schools. Aaron has strong interests in politics, innovation, creativity, human pair bonding and issues of economic and social justice. In addition to various genres of music and disciplines of the performing arts, he enjoys travel, movies, and the culinary arts. He is married to Afa Sadykhly Dworkin, a prominent international arts leader who serves as President and Artistic Director of the Sphinx Organization and has two awesome sons, Noah Still and Amani Jaise.  

About Texas College

Mission Statement 

Texas College is a Historically Black College founded in 1894, by a group of CME ministers. Our mission continues to embody the principles of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. The College shall prepare students with competencies in critical and creative thinking related to the knowledge, skills, and abilities as defined in areas of study. Additionally, the College shall provide an environment to inspire intellectual, spiritual, ethical, moral, and social development, which empowers graduates to engage in life-long learning, leadership, and service.

Core Values

To address the mission, the College incorporates the Core Values listed below:

Academic Excellence - developing a culture of curiosity and creativity that will challenge the frontiers of teaching/learning; stimulate research; raise the level of analytical reasoning and inquiry; and enable students to acquire leadership, human relations, communication, and technology skills. 

Integrity - instilling the pursuit of character, honesty, and sincerity of purpose as the moral rubrics upon which the behaviors of our graduates and College family are anchored.

Perseverance - implanting diligence, enterprise, and pride in the application of skills, knowledge, and abilities developed during the course of study at Texas College, Social Responsibility - promoting in the College community a conscious awareness that we are all stewards of the resources entrusted to our care.

Social Responsibility - promoting in the College community a conscious awareness that we are all stewards of the resources entrusted to our care.

Tolerance - emphasizing openness to divergent points of view, applying an eclectic approach to rational and analytical thinking.

Community Service - encouraging self-extension in service to others as the heart and soul of our educational enterprise.

Historic Beginnings

The College’s history states that in the Spring of 1894, Texas College was founded by a group of ministers affiliated with the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church. The founding represented the start of the educational process for a group of disenfranchised individuals in the area of east Texas, City of Tyler.

The Charter as originally issued July 1, 1907, indicates that the name of  the corporation was established as “Texas College,” with the purpose of an educational institution designed to operate under the supervision care and ownership of the CME Church in America. The exclusive educational direction was to include the education of youths, male and female, in all branches of a literary, scientific and classical education wherein [all] shall be taught theology, normal training of teachers, music, commercial and industrial training, and agricultural and mechanical  sciences.

On June 12, 1909, the name of the college was changed from Texas College to Phillips University. The noted change was associated with Bishop Henry Phillips, as a result of his leadership and educational interests for mankind. The name change was short lived and reportedly lasted until actions for a name reversal occurred in 1910 at the Third Annual Conference of the church. In May 1912, the college was officially renamed Texas College.

The subsequent years of the College were spent with refinements and enhancements of the educational enterprise. The Articles of Incorporation reflect such efforts with modifications and amendments during periods 1909 to 1966.

Today, the College complies with its founding principles in that she remains open to all individuals without discrimination on the grounds of national origin, race, religion, or sex…with the right to offer instruction in the areas of Arts and Sciences, Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences preparation of teachers and the provision of instructional supports, to those in   pursuit of an education. 

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