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Who Is Cynthia Cozette Lee?

Innovative Composer/Arranger/Performer/Poet/Author

Dr. Cynthia Cozette Lee is a highly talented award winning Black American contemporary composer, flautist, pianist, poet and author. She has written for opera, orchestra, solo voice, instruments, choral and chamber ensembles. Her music has been performed in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico at events with such distinguished organizations as the College Music Society, Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia, National Association of Negro Musicians, Women of Color Festival and the Mu Phi Epsilon International Conventions. Her talents as an arranger include arranging and transcribing piano music by Mozart and J.S. Bach for flute trio and flute quartet.

Dr. Lee for over 25 years has also been an educator and educational leader. As an educator,  teacher & administrator consultant in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Camden City, New Jersey and San Juan, Puerto Rico she has assisted with implementing differentiated instruction training for educators. She has also volunteered as a church choir director in Philadelphia and San Juan, Puerto Rico and likes using music to enhance community unity. 

Dr. Cynthia Cozette Lee is formally trained as a composer being the first African American and woman to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania with a Master of Arts degree in Music Composition. Her Doctorate degree is in Educational Leadership from Rowan University and her other Master’s is in Public Administration from Rutgers University. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Music Composition from Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Lee’s junior high school music teacher and orchestra director was Lawrence Peeler, Jr., the son of Lawrence Peeler, Sr., who was one of the first Black Americans to graduate from Carnegie Mellon University with a music degree and also the first Black hired as a full-time music teacher in the Pittsburgh Public Schools.

Cynthia Cozette Lee has studied composition with highly eminent composers George Rochberg, George Crumb, Roland Leich, Leonardo Balada, William Hoskins and Joseph Wilcox Jenkins. She studied The Art of Music Copying at the Juilliard School of Music with Arnold Arnstein, the personal copyist to Samuel Barber, Gian Carlo Menotti and many other distinguished American composers. Her award-winning compositions Colors for Women’s Voices and Percussion Ensemble and The Martyr for Baritone and Orchestra have received awards in the Mu Phi Epsilon National Composition Contests. Cynthia Cozette Lee's composition Nigerian Treasures in 3 Movements for Solo Unaccompanied Flute received an award and first public international performance from the College Music Society in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Dr. Cynthia Cozette Lee’s music studies began with her beloved mother, the late Mrs. Grace Garner Lee, arranging for Cynthia to study piano privately at 9 years old with the late Carmen Rummo, Professor of Piano at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Her mother also arranged through Cynthia’s 6th and 10th grade years private flute study with the late Alois Hrabak, who was retired from the Pittsburgh Symphony.

Dr. Lee's orchestral compositions are Ebony Reflections for Chamber Orchestra, Nepenthe Concerto for Piano and Orchestra and A.M.E.R.I.C.A. She has written for vocal, instrumental, chamber music, orchestra and composed several operas, Adea, The Black Guitar, Partway to Freedom and Let Courage Be The Light. She is registered in the International Who's Who in Music and Musicians' Directory and also has been included in the Who's Who in American Music: Classical.

Dr. Cynthia Cozette Lee has received many other distinguished awards and honors including a Philadelphia Picasso Grant, Mu Phi Epsilon Grant, Rowan University Schrock Grant, Rutgers University Graduate Assistantship, Victor Saudek Flute Scholarship and Honorable Mention in the Pittsburgh Flute Club Composition Contest. She created,  produced and hosted a Black Classical Musician Interview program titled Classical Reflections for three years with the West Philadelphia Educational Broadcasting Corporation (WPEB) Radio and was Classical Music Consultant for a WUHY radio program titled The Marketplace. Dr. Lee plans to self-produce her album featuring her original flute songs titled Africa Enchants Me Flute Song Celebrations in 2021. Dr. Lee has spent most of her career bringing her original music and poems based on Black American historical themes to local and international communities. She has produced and directed many concerts highlighting her award winning works. As a poet she has had her poems published by the Moonstone Arts Center in their 21st and 22nd Anthology Editions of the Poetry Ink Collection. C.C. Lee's poem "Visit to Poe's House" received publication in the SFPA - Science Fiction Poetry Association 2020 Halloween Reading Online. Her book of poetry titled The Forgotten Schoolhouse: Original Poems and Stories on Faith, Love, Nature and Wonder has been now published by Covenant Publishers since May 8, 2020. She soon hopes to have her unique music compositions published in 2021 by a professional music publisher.


P.O. Box 2074 Philadelphia, PA 19103 USA

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