Dr. Henry Panion III

Henry Panion, III, PhD, holds degrees in music education and music theory from Alabama A & M University and Ohio State University, respectively. He is most known for his work as conductor and arranger for superstar Stevie Wonder, for whose performances and recordings he has led many of the world’s most notable orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic, the Bolshoi Theater Orchestra, the Birmingham (England) Symphony, the Orchestra of Paris, the Melbourne (Australia) Symphony, the Rio de Janeiro Philharmonic, the Ra’anana Philharmonic, the Nice Symphony, the Gothenburg Symphony, and the Boston Pops Orchestra.

Dr. Panion made history topping the Billboard charts on both the Gospel and Classical Crossover Charts simultaneously. Other artists for whom Dr. Panion has had the opportunity to conduct and/or arrange include The Winans, Chet Atkins, Lady Tramaine  Hawkins, Eugenia Zuckerman, Aretha Franklin, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Chaka Khan, the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, and American Idol winners Carrie Underwood and Ruben Studdard.


As a producer, composer, arranger, and orchestrator, Dr. Panion’s work has produced two Grammy Awards, two Dove Awards, and a host of other national music awards and nominations. From 1994 to 2000, Dr. Panion served as chair of the Department of Music at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  He also serves as President and Founder of Audiostate 55 Recording Studios & Entertainment Company and the Gospel Symphony Collection. Other honors include a 1995 Distinguished Alumni Award from Alabama A & M University and a 1996 Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award from the Ohio State University. He is the 1996 recipient of the Caroline P. and Charles W. Ireland Award for Scholarly Distinction and the 2009 recipient of the Congressional Black Caucus' Civic and Cultural Advancement Award. Dr. Panion was inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in 1995, as well as the Alabama A & M University Hall of Fame in 2000. He is a 2011 recipient of the prestigious Governor’s Arts Award from the Alabama State Council on the Art, and his  most recent awards include a 2013 Drum Major for Justice Award by the SCLC/W.O.M.E.N, Inc. The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees has honored Dr. Panion for his many contributions to the field of music by bestowing upon him the distinguished appointment of University Professor. In 2009, Dr. Panion was appointed to the post of Cultural Ambassador for the City of Birmingham.

In 2017, Dr. Panion was appointed by the mayor of Birmingham to chair its three-year commemoration and celebration of the state of Alabama’s bicentennial. The 2020 PBS documentary-concert Dreams of Hope produced by Dr. Panion received an unprecedented 13 Telly Awards for Education, Music, Directing, Cinematography, and Social Impact. In addition, he has recently been appointed to the board of governors of the Southeast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (The Emmy’s) and the board of the Robert Moog Foundation. In 2022, the City of Birmingham will host the World Games, and Dr. Panion has been appointed Artistic Director and Composer for the World Games theme song and its opening and closing ceremonies.

Return to Previous Page