About the Director

andante option 2
“Be who you are and will be. Learn to cherish that boisterous black angel that drives you up one day and down the next, protecting the place where your power rises.” -Audrey Lorde

Dorthea L. Taylor, founder and director of Andante Center for the Performing Arts, has been providing outstanding vocal training, music performance, and overall performing arts education in church, academic, and professional settings since 1999.

Growing up in a small town while being educated in a system that seemingly gave preferential treatment to persons of high socioeconomic status, instilled in her a passion for empowering people to strive to excel beyond the expectations or limitations placed on them by others.  She has long dreamed to establish after school and summer programs focused on performing arts training in communities where such services are not readily available as well as those who may not be able to afford formal arts education.

Dorthea L. Taylor holds MM in sacred music, choral conducting, and voice performance from East Carolina University and a  BA in Music Education from Bennett College for Women.  She is also an ordained minister.

Although she has been singing for as long as she could speak, Miss Taylor’s formal music training began in the sixth grade as a clarinet player. She played and excelled at the clarinet throughout her formative years and college. Immediately following her undergraduate training, Miss Taylor taught chorus and orchestra at Dudley High School in Greensboro, NC. 

During her matriculation at ECU, Miss Taylor served as assistant conductor of the University Chorale.  She was a semi-finalist in the graduate division of the American Choral Directors Association National Conducting Competition at the national convention in New York, a recipient of the Lynn Bridges Memorial Award scholarship, winner of the East Carolina University Concerto Competition, recipient of the Martha Strawn Iley Church Music Scholarship in the area of voice, the 2002 first place winner of the National Association of Teachers of Singing State Competition, winner of the LINKS Performance Scholarship, and a recipient of the Michael Jackson Performance Scholarship.

Miss Taylor, former director of the East Carolina University Gospel Choir, is a well sought after conductor, singer, vocal coach and clinician.  She has been a featured soloist on many occasions, performed with the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra, served on the faculty of the Church Music Summit in Charlotte, NC and served as the co-director of the Church Music Academy for the Hampton University Ministers’ Conference and Choir Directors’ and Organists’ Guild.  Dorthea served as the vocal coach for an NFL finals commercial in which she was also featured and prepared Salvation and Deliverance Church Choir for their first-place performance in the How Sweet the Sound national church choir competition.

In addition to her musical achievements, Miss Taylor is an accomplished playwright, actor, and poet.  She had her first taste of acting when a friend signed her up for a Shakespeare recitation competition in Middle School. Although afraid of trying something so much outside of her comfort zone, she made it to finals on her first attempt. That success gave her the courage to take on the stage in whatever way presented itself.  In addition to acting in stage plays and musicals, she has been a professional plus size model and a spoken word artist.

Currently, Dorthea is the Music Program Coordinator at Bennett College, serves as an Instructor of Music, holds the Shelia C. Johnson Professorship in Performing Arts, conducts the Bennett College Choir and is the College Soloist at the behest of the College President. 

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