Robert Morris has received degrees from DePaul University, Indiana University, and the University of Iowa. His work as an arranger for Duke Ellington led him to become a part of the institute, Jazz: the Rediscovery of African American Authenticity. In his work as a conductor, Morris has led ensembles at Carnegie Hall, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, and Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. He is a member of ACDA, and has been on the board of Chorus America.
From 1994-1996, Morris spent time in Cuba, where he served as a consultant for African American religious music. He worked on the Culture and Social Transformation: The Cuban and the African American conference, which helped bring Cuban universities in on the discussion of African American music, and its involvement in churches around Cuba.
Morris is also the founder and director of the Leigh Morris Chorale, based in the Twin Cities. The Choral performs “informances” which are used to audiences about African American classical music and choral music traditions. His choral works help to highlight gospel and spiritual practices, and have been performed by prolific ensembles such as the Minnesota Chorale, Moses Hogan Singers. Dale Warland Singers, and VocalEssence.
This profile was created during the 2023-2024 academic year as part of the Song of America Fellowship Program, a project of the Classic Song Research Initiative between the Hampsong Foundation and the University of Michigan, School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.
"Singing Justice" Seminar Recital
(Margaret Bonds, Henry T. Burleigh, Maud Cuney Hare, Adolphus C. Hailstork, Lori Hicks, Hall Johnson, John Rosamond Johnson, Undine Smith Moore, Robert L. Morris, Robert Owens, Rosephanye Powell, Florence Price, Brandon J Spencer and Spiritual)
Heart on the Wall
(Robert L. Morris, Nkeiru Okoye and Robert Owens)
Lyric Suite - Solos for Medium Voice
Composer(s): Robert Morris
Song(s): I. Dramatic Declaration: Rockin' Jerusalem!
II. Gospel Blues: What Shall I Do?
III. Humoresque: Scandaliz' My Name!
IV. Lament: This May Be My Las' Time
V. Juba: Ev'ry Time I Feel the Spirit
Voice Type: Medium VoiceBuy via GIA Publications