Clark Atlanta University Learn Lead Change

Philharmonic Society Staff

Clark Atlanta University Philharmonic Society Department of Music/CAU Philharmonic Society
223 James P. Brawley Drive, SW
Atlanta, Georgia 30314

About the Leadership

Dr. Curtis Everett Powell, Choral Conductor 

A native of Fairfield, Alabama, Dr. Curtis Everett Powell began his professional musical studies with Jessica Divers Hayden and later at the Alabama School of Fine Arts where he was graduated in 1979.  He studied with prominent music faculty at Talladega College, the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music (NY), Howard University in Washington, DC, Alabama State University, The University of Oklahoma at Norman, and the University of Mississippi.  Prior to his appointment as Director of Choral Activities at Clark Atlanta University in 2011, Dr. Powell served on the music faculty at Delaware State University, North Carolina A&T State University, and Prairie View A&M University.  In addition, he served as Visiting Organist and Music Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA.


A member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated (AFA), the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the National Association for the Study and Performance of African American Music (NASPAAM), the National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM), the Music Educators National Conference (MENC), and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (Professional Music Fraternity), Dr. Powell served on the Board of Directors for the Alabama School of Fine Arts (ASFA) – the first alumnus to serve on the ASFA Board of Directors.  He is listed in several biographical publications, some of which include: Who’s Who in Entertainment, Personalities of the Americas, Personalities of the South, International Men of Achievement, and The Who’s Who in American Education.  He was thrice selected as one of the Outstanding Young Men of America.  While in Texas, Powell served as the Texas Chair of the Committee on Ethnic and Multicultural Perspectives for the American Choral Directors Association. During 2007, he participated in a doctoral research program in higher education administration at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.


In 2009, Powell served as Co-Chair of the HBCU Choral Conductors Summit sponsored by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts; and in 2010, served as a National Conductor of the 105 Voices of History (VOH) National Concert Choir – which was presented at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Phillip V. Skerrett, Jr.,  Accompanist

Philip V. Skerrett, Jr., a native of Philadelphia, PA., began his music studies at an early age under the instruction of his mother.  Among his early instructors were Louise Robinson and Charles Engel at the renowned Settlement Music School in Philadelphia.  He also began organ instruction under Ernest Lehrer and continued under Joseph Chapline and Norman Sill.  He graduated from Central High School, Philadelphia, PA, and received his B. S. in Music from the notable Northwestern University at Evanston, IL.  Mr. Skerrett pursued graduate studies at Northwestern University while serving as Music Director at Holy Name Roman Catholic Cathedral in Chicago, IL.  He was a student of Grigg Fountain and Wolfgang Rubsam, as well as, Robert Anderson and Pauline Lindsey. After leaving Northwestern University he served as accompanist for the vocal studio of Madame Sonia Sharnova in Chicago, IL.                                         

Mr. Skerrett held the position of senior organist at Ebenezer AME Church in Chicago, where Bishop McKinley Young served as pastor. Since 1986,   He has served, for 25 years, as the Senior Organist for Big Bethel AME Church in Atlanta, GA.  He is also staff accompanist and organist in the Department of Music at Clark Atlanta University.  He performed with the Atlanta Symphony under the direction of William Fred Scott and is presently serving as the accompanist for the Americolor Opera Company (Atlanta, GA).  He has been in Chamber Concerts at Emory University, Spelman College, Covington, Cooper Gallery and Park Street Sanctuary with his colleagues Dr. Roumena Georgieva-Violinist and Dr. J Robert Adams Bass-baritone. He has been accompanist of the vocalist during N A T S competition held at Spivey Hall in 2001. 

Mr. Skerrett was married
to Carrie Duncan Brown also a musician.

Ariel Merivil, Choral Assistant