Music of The World Games
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Latest ReleaseView All
‘Hope of Alabama’ (single)
Release date: 4.15.22
Press Releases View All
Lionel Richie Joins Performer Lineup For The Music Of The World GamesRead More
The Music Of The World Games Releases “Hope Of Alabama,” The Official Theme Song Of 2022 World GamesRead More
2022 World Games To Celebrate The People, Power And Rich Musical History Of Alabama In Opening And Closing Ceremony PerformancesRead More
About Dr. Henry Panion, Creative Director
Henry Panion, III, PhD, University Professor, holds degrees in music education and music theory from Alabama A & M University and the Ohio State University, respectively, and serves as Director of the Music Technology Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He is most known for his work as conductor and arranger for pop icon Stevie Wonder and has served in that capacity for the past 28 years. Other artists for whom Dr. Panion has had the opportunity to conduct and/or arrange include Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, the Blind Boys of Alabama, the Clark Sisters, India Arie, The Winans, Yolanda Adams, Lady Tramaine Hawkins, Kirk Franklin, the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, Kelly Price, Robin Thicke, LeAnn Rimes, and American Idol winners Carrie Underwood and Ruben Studdard.
As a conductor, composer, and arranger, Dr. Panion has worked with more that 50 orchestras across the globe, including the Royal Philharmonic (England), the Bolshoi Theater Orchestra (Russia), the Orchestra of Paris (France), the Melbourne Symphony (Australia), the Rio de Janeiro Philharmonic (Brazil), the Ra’anana Philharmonic (Israel), the Gothenburg Symphony (Sweden), and the Tokyo Philharmonic (Japan), and in this country prominent orchestras such as those in Nashville, Cleveland, Atlanta, Honolulu, Boston, Baltimore, Detroit, D.C., and in his home state of Alabama. The 2020 PBS documentary-concert Dreams of Hope: Birmingham’s Historic 16th Street Baptist Church Welcomes Violins of Hope, produced by Dr. Panion, has been broadcast over 600 times since its release; received 2 EMMY Awards for Original Composition and Audio Post Production; received an unprecedented 13 Telly Awards for Education, Music, Directing, Cinematography, and Social Impact; and has been featured in prestigious film festivals abroad in major cities such as London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Sydney. During the 50th Anniversary of Selma’s Bloody Sunday in 2015, Dr. Panion served as Artistic Producer & Conductor for the BET/Centric TV Special broadcast of the and 2019 directed the City of Birmingham’s three-year commemoration of the State of Alabama’s Bicentennial.
As a producer, composer, arranger, and orchestrator, Dr. Panion’s work has produced three Grammy Awards and a host of other national music awards and nominations. From 1994 to 2000, Dr. Panion served as chair of UAB’s Department of Music. Other honors include a 1995 Distinguished Alumni Award from Alabama A & M University, a similar award from the Ohio State University in 1996, the 1996 Caroline P. and Charles W. Ireland Award for Scholarly Distinction, the 2009 Congressional Black Caucus' Civic and Cultural Advancement Award, and was appointed Cultural Ambassador for the City of Birmingham in 2009. He was inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Alabama Arts Hall of Fame in 2019. Dr. Panion is presently serving a Governor’s appointment as Chair of the Alabama State Council on the Arts and has recently been appointed to the Board of Governors of the Southeast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (The Emmy’s). The City of Birmingham will host the World Games in 2022, and Dr. Panion has been appointed Artistic Director and Composer for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.