Dr. Gail M. Robinson-Oturu
Professor of Music, Voice
Soprano Gail M. Robinson-Oturu has a distinguished record as an educator, performing artist, and scholar. She sings primarily as a recitalist and guest artist and her voice has been heard on local, regional, national, and international stages. Reviewers have praised her for her artistry, interpretation, and technique. A review of her performance with the London Symphony Orchestra states “she seemed more than an accomplished performer; she became an elemental force, primal yet infinitely refined. She held her audience rapt.”
As an educator, Dr. Robinson-Oturu is professor of voice at Austin Peay State University where she served as the department chair from 2005-2009. Prior to Austin Peay her primary academic home was Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, FL where she served twenty-one years as Coordinator of Vocal Studies and Director of the Opera Workshop. She received campus, state and national teaching honors and awards. Her campus awards included Faculty Member of the Year, multiple Excellence-in-Teaching Awards, Innovative Teaching Awards, Excellence in Community Service, and Academic Advisor of the Year. The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) in Washington, DC named her the 1988 Florida Professor of the Year and honored her as a silver medalist on the national level. She often worked with high school students and programs and served as adjudicator for local and state festivals.
Dr. Robinson-Oturu was appointed as a visiting scholar at Harvard University where she began research on African Americans in Mainstream Opera in the United States. This research and her subsequent innovations provided inspiration for and have given birth to various projects of national and international scope. including the NOA Legacy Career Development Grant awarded to individuals whose work help to achieve greater racial and ethnic diversity in Opera. Her dissertation, The Life and Legacy of Todd Duncan: A biographical study was nominated by New York University and won the National Opera Association (NOA) Outstanding Dissertation in Opera Biennium Award. Dr. Robinson-Oturu’s work remains the only systematic, comprehensive and authorized biography of baritone Todd Duncan, the original Porgy of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.
Robinson-Oturu has provided leadership to community and professional organizations. She served as Vice President of Conventions of the National Opera Association and is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Robinson-Oturu served as a national Fraternity Director of Sigma Alpha Iota, International Music Fraternity and as president of the Clarksville Community Concert Association, among others. She is an associate of the Negro Spiritual Scholarship Foundation, where she was a charter Board member.
A native of Washington, DC, Robinson-Oturu earned the Bachelor and Master of Music Education (Vocal Emphasis) from Howard University and the Doctor of Philosophy from New York University. She completed the Harvard University School of Education Management.
Phone: (931) 221-7810
Music/Mass Communication Building, Room 320