Dr. Ollie Watts Davis


Ollie Watts Davis is Associate Professor of Music and Conductor of the Black Chorus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A native of West Virginia, Dr. Davis graduated from West Virginia Institute of Technology (magna cum laude), where she was named the 1993 Alumna of the Year. She earned the Master of Arts degree from West Virginia University at Morgantown and both the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Davis is the Founding Director of the Black Sacred Music Symposium held biennially at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and has served on the faculty of several national conferences including, the West Virginia Black Sacred Music Festival, the Music is My Ministry Workshop (Fort Washington, Maryland), and the National Black Gospel College Choir Workshop (Atlanta, Georgia).

Dr. Davis has won numerous awards and honors, including membership in the Phi Kappa Phi Honorary Society; honorary membership in Sigma Alpha Iota and the National Arts and Letters Society; and the Krannert Center Debut Recital Award. In 1993 Dr. Davis received a Faculty Excellence Award from the University of Illinois College of Fine and Applied Arts, and in 1994 was awarded the Bronze Medallion of Honor by the University of Illinois Women's Association. Dr. Davis was recognized as a woman who "through example and/or service...has used her talents to enrich the lives of others." In 1998 Dr. Davis was selected to receive the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, in 1999 she received the Gospel Music Excellence Award at the National Black Gospel College Choir Workshop and also in 1999 KJAC Publishing released her book, Talks My Mother Never Had With Me (Helping the Young Female Transition to Womanhood).

Active as a performing artist, soprano Ollie Watts Davis made her New York debut at Carnegie Hall and has appeared throughout North and South America and in Europe with major orchestras and opera companies. She has also performed at the West Virginia Governor's Mansion on the Arts and Letters Series and as guest artist for the Governor's Inaugural Ceremony.

Dr. Davis also serves as the Youth Music Director at Canaan Missionary Baptist Church (Urbana, Illinois), where she is a member of the Women's Discipleship Class; S.W.A.T. (Soul-Winning Action Team); and P.A.C.E Ministry (People Available to Contact and Encourage). Dr. Davis conducts retreats and seminars for women and along with her husband, Rev. Dr. Harold Davis, for married couples. The Davises live in Champaign, Illinois with their four children.

Dr. Ollie Watts Davis is available for in-service training for workshops in your school, facility, church or organization. For information and available dates, please contact:

Dr. Ollie Watts Davis
P.O. Box 111
Champaign, Il 61824
(217) 352-4628



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