(POSTPONED TBD) 9th Annual Shirley Verrett Award Ceremony

April 2, 2020 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Stamps Auditorium, 1226 Murfin Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

The University of Michigan Women of Color in the Academy Project (WOCAP) will present its 9th Annual Shirley Verrett Award to Professor of Music (Voice), Daniel Washington, on April 2, 2020, at the Stamps Auditorium located in the Walgreen Drama Center on North campus.

Dr. Washington is being recognized for his significant support and advocacy on behalf of diverse students and faculty artists at U-M and innovative diversity and inclusion impact on U-M and beyond through his performances and service.

Please join us for an evening of celebration with special performances beginning at 6:00 P.M with a reception to follow.

The event is free and open to the public, however, registration is requested. Feel free to share with those who may be interested!

Daniel Washington, 2020 Award Recipient

Daniel A. Washington is a bass-baritone and tenured Professor of Music (Voice) at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, & Dance, an Honorary Professor (Humanities) at the University of Cape Town South African College of Music, and was a vocal teacher at the Luzern Conservatory of Music (Switzerland). Washington is an expert on African American classical music and spirituals, Porgy and Bess, and diversity in the arts. He has performed in the world’s major opera houses and concert stages including Royal Opera Covent Garden, Teatro Massimo (Palermo), and Theater des Westens (Berlin). He created the role of Steven Biko in the world premiere of the opera Biko for the Royal Opera’s Garden Venture Project, performed the title role in King, The Musical at Piccadilly Theatre (London), and sang in the world premiere of the song cycle Angel of Dreamers with the Michigan Chamber Players and Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings. Washington appeared at the Zürich Opera, Hamburg State Opera, and Opéra Comique (Paris). Concert versions of Porgy and Bess include the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle, Montreal Symphony under Charles Dutoit, Oregon Symphony, London Symphony, and Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich. He portrayed Balthazar in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, directed by the composer. He has appeared with the Bournemouth Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Bayerische Rundfunk, Rotterdam Philharmonic, and Czech Philharmonic and at the Spoleto Festival USA, Moja Festival.

Professor Washington has received national and international awards for artistry. His recordings include “Songs my Mother Taught Me,” “Nobody is Somebody,” the Baritone Solo in Appalachia by Delius, Pizarro in Beethoven’s Fidelio, Tom in Gershwin’s Blue Monday Blues, the Bass Soloist in Stabat Mater by Rossini, and Tarquinio in Respighi’s Lucretia. He recently launched the annual Lucy Washington Annual Vocal Competition in Summerville, SC. Washington was Senior Advisor to the Dean, Associate Dean for Faculty and Multicultural Affairs, and a Center for Institutional Cooperation Leadership Fellow. A national leader in achieving a critical mass of minorities and women in the arts and academy, he received the Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award and was a member of U-M’s President’s Advisory Committee for Women, and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. University-wide Symposium.  He has taught or mentored countless young women of color and has helped them be successful in their careers. His students have won prestigious vocal competitions (e.g. Richard Tucker Competition, Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition), fellowships (e.g. Adler, Merola, Chicago Lyric Opera Ryan Center, Belvedere), and awards (e.g. Grammy). They can be heard at the Michigan Opera Theater, Carnegie Hall, Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, and festivals around the world. Washington teaches master classes across the globe including annual summer residencies at the University of Cape Town and the Young Musicians Choral Orchestra (Berkeley, CA). Washington is president of the Detroit Musicians Association and a board member, regional director, and collegiate director for the National Association of Negro Musicians.


The Shirley Verrett Award was created in 2011 by the Office of the Senior Vice Provost in honor of the late Shirley Verrett, a teacher who “would have walked the world over for her students.” The award is administered by WOCAP at the Center for the Education of Women, and recognizes a faculty member whose teaching, performance, scholarship or service supports the success of female students or faculty in the arts who come from diverse cultural and racial backgrounds.

Verrett was a James Earl Jones Distinguished University Professor of Voice at the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance, as well as an internationally acclaimed opera singer who was one of the pioneering leaders in the generation of black opera singers. She performed more than 40 roles all over the world during the course of her four-decade career.