UMTAD Staff Queen Drea Named 2022 McKnight Composer Fellow

Queen Drea, photo by David Lee Glasgow
Queen Drea, photo by David Lee Glasgow

 If my compositions invoke visceral responses in the listener, then I’ve done my job.

Queen Drea

UMTAD's own Queen Drea has received one of the 2022 McKnight Composer Fellowships! The four McKnight Composer Fellows were selected from a pool of 65 applicants from around the state. The fellowships are part of the McKnight Artist Fellowships Program, created to increase the exploratory opportunity, economic stability, and productive capacity of artists by providing $25,000 in unrestricted support for mid-career artists living in Minnesota.

A sound alchemist mixing up potions laced with looped natural and affected vocals, jagged rhythms, and found sounds, Queen Drea’s compositions are often conceived under the auspices of improvisational settings, which is where she thrives most. Drea has been commissioned to compose soundscapes for dance companies Ananya Dance Theatre, Black Label Movement, and Brother(h)ood Dance, and composed and designed sound for Penumbra Theatre’s production of “For Colored Girls.” Drea was a Pillsbury House Theater 2020 Naked Stages Fellow and has become a staple at the venue, which she calls her artistic home, designing sound and composing original music for “The Great Divide: She Persists,” “The Great Divide: Flip the Script,” and “What to Send Up, When it Goes Down” by Aleshea Harris.

Queen Drea has been with UMTAd as the Executive Office Administrator at Barbara Baker Center for Dance for more than 10 years. As a sound alchemist, Queen Drea enjoys "being able to have my full-time job in a place where there's so much music happening and so much artistry I knew I would never work anywhere else at the University."

Congratulations! We are #UMNproud!


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