Dr. Henry Panion III, Producer, "Dreams of Hope"  

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, Lionel Richie, ALABAMA, Kelly Price, Robin Thicke,
LeAnn Rimes, Bootsy Collins, and American Idol winners Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, and
Ruben Studdard.

As a conductor, composer, and arranger, Dr. Panion has worked with more than 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. During the 50 th Anniversary of Selma’s Bloody Sunday in 2015, Dr.
Panion served as Artistic Producer & Conductor for the BET/Centric TV Special and in 2019 he
concluded the City of Birmingham’s three-year commemoration of the State of Alabama’s
Bicentennial, in which he served as composer, advisor, and artistic director. The 2020 PBS concert-
documentary Dreams of Hope: Birmingham’s Historic 16 th Street Baptist Church Welcomes
Violins of Hope was produced by Dr. Panion and has been broadcast over 750 times since its
release; received an unprecedented 13 Telly Awards and has been featured in and won
prestigious film festivals domestically and abroad in major cities such as New York, Los Angeles,
Miami, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Jerusalem, and Sydney. In 2021 Dreams of Hope picked up 2
EMMY’s for Music Composition and Audio Post-Production.

As a producer, composer, arranger, and orchestrator, Dr. Panion’s work has earned 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 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 to 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). Dr. Panion most recently served as
Artistic Director and Composer for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2022 World
Games and producer of the new World Games theme song, “Hope of Alabama,” featuring an
all-star cast of singers.

Dr. Panion is married to his lovely bride of 33 years, Karyl, and has four children (Lekisha, Henry
IV, Alex, and Jonathan) and three grandchildren (Tyler, Jordan, and Haleigh).

Each share, tweet, and email helps us spread the word about Alabama Holocaust Education Center (AHEC).

You've Helped Raise

What's Everybody Saying?