Del’Shawn Taylor

Del’Shawn Taylor is world renowned baritone, composer, pianist, educator, and writer. His music and performance work spans a variety of genres, and has taken the United States and beyond by storm. Taylor is also an advocate for equity in the arts, working to connect marginalized communities with classical music.

Photo: Del'Shawn Taylor, Official Website

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    Del’Shawn Taylor’s work as a performer and composer has spanned across the operatic, instrumental, art song, musical theatre, and and choral canons. He has premiered his pieces with ensembles such as the Cincinnati Song Initiative and the Thompson Street Opera Company. He serves the composer for the musical adaptation of the award-winning novel, Stars in the Sky. Stars in the Sky details experiences of the first Black American flight attendants.

    Taylor has received critical acclaim for his of Dunbar’s “We Wear the Mask.” He premiered this setting at the Source Song Festival under the mentorship of celebrated composers Libby Larsen and David Evan Thomas. “We Wear the Mask” has received recognition within the George Shirley Composition Competition and Calliope’s Calls 2021 Call for Scores.

    Beyond his work as a composer, Taylor has written the children’s book, “Do You Know What Makes a Man,” published in 2021. He also is the founder of Variations, a program for middle school musicians that integrates hip-hop and classical music into the same curriculum.

    -Lucy Koukoudian

    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.

    Related Information


    Fires of Justice

    (David N. Baker, B. E. Boykin, Adolphus C. Hailstork, Andre Myers, Shawn E. Okpebholo, Robert Owens and Dave Ragland)


    View recording

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