Darleen (Cowles) Mitchell (b. 1942), Associate Professor of composition and organ, has written over one hundred works for orchestra, chorus, voice and various instrumental solos and ensembles, most of which are published by American Composers Editions in New York. Her compositions have been performed by many groups including the Contemporary Chamber Players (Chicago), the American Chamber Symphony (Chicago), the Aurora String Quartet (San Francisco), North-South Consonance (New York), the Harmoniemusik Ensemble (Lowell, Massachusetts), College Music Society Regional Conferences in Florida, Georgia and Nebraska, the Florida State Winds, the Florida State University Wind Orchestra and the International Guitar Festival in Hermoupolis, Greece.
Her Translucent Unreality No. 1 is available on Capriccio Records, Images for violin and guitar was recorded by Duo 46 on Guitar Plus Records in 2001, and a CD including her Watery Moon, on text by William Shakespeare, for mezzo-soprano and alto/bass flute, is forthcoming. Dr. Mitchell received a B.M. from De Paul University, M.M. from Northwestern University, winning the Faricy Award for Creative Composition, and a Ph.D. in Music Composition from the University of Chicago, where she studied with Ralph Shapey and Shulamit Ran. Dr. Mitchell is the recipient of many awards, grants and fellowships, including Illinois Arts Council Grants, Artist Fellowships, "Meet the Composer" grants and a Florida Arts Council Artist Fellowship.
She is the 1998 first prize winner of the Music Grant from the National League of American Pen Women, for her work Visions, a concerto for tuba and concert band after texts by Hildegard of Bingen. Dr. Mitchell has developed and taught a course on women composers, and this life-long interest lead her to found American Women Composers-Midwest, an organization based in Chicago which continues to perform and champion women composers. Dr. Mitchell has served on the faculty of De Paul University, chaired the musicianship and composition department at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, and taught for the Chicago City Colleges European Division in Belgium, Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, Illinois and Chattahoochee Valley Community College in Phenix City, Alabama.
She joined the U.N.K. music faculty in 2000, where she teaches composition, organ, and coordinates the music theory curricula. Dr. Mitchell is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society.