Cedric Dent

Cedric Dent's Biography

Cedric Carl Dent, a native of Detroit, Michigan, began private piano lessons at age 6, and the study of music theory at age 14. Dr. Dent is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy (1980) and holds degrees from the University of Michigan (B.M., Vocal Music Education, 1985), the University of Alabama (M.M., Music Theory/Arranging, 1987) and the University of Maryland (Ph.D., Music Theory, 1997).

A frequent guest lecturer, Dr. Dent recently presented a week of lectures at the University of California, Irvine as part of the 2000-2001 Chancellor's Distinguished Fellows Series. He also held the Roy Acuff Chair of Excellence in the Creative Arts at Austin Peay State University (Clarksville, TN) in the spring of 1999. Also in 1999, Dr. Dent hosted a music education series for children (grades 5-8) entitled "Music to My Ears" for PBS in Nashville, TN (WDCN). His research interests include the historical and harmonic development of black gospel music, and vocal jazz group arranging and performance. His doctoral dissertation traces the harmonic development of the black religious quartet singing tradition. Dr. Dent is a member of the music fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and the National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, and was selected as an Outstanding Young Man of America in 1989 and 1998.

He served as Minister of Music for Calvary Presbyterian Church in Detroit, Michigan (1982-1985), Pilgrim's Rest Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (1986-1987) and served on the council of the W. O. Smith Community School of Music in Nashville, Tennessee (1991-1993).

As a baritone vocalist, arranger, and producer, Dr. Dent is a member of TAKE 6, a Warner/Reprise Gospel recording group. TAKE 6 has released nine recordings, two of which have sold gold and one platinum. Also among their credits are nine Grammy Awards and ten Dove Awards. In the year 2000, TAKE 6 recorded the song, "Straighten Up and Fly Right" with jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon on her Grammy nominated release, "Soulcall." Dr. Dent co-arranged the song which TAKE 6 subsequently performed with Ms. Freelon at the 43rd Grammy Awards (February 21, 2001).

In 1993, the Boston Pops Orchestra, conducted by Marvin Hamlisch, performed Dr. Dent's orchestral arrangement of "Bless this House" as accompaniment for TAKE 6. His string arrangements have also accompanied recordings by gospel music artists Yolanda Adams, Donna McElroy, Derrick Brinkley and Ben Tankard. And in 1999, he co-wrote and co-produced "The Dream," the official commemorative song of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame (Knoxville, TN). Recognition for Dr. Dent's creative endeavors includes a Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying a Vocal in 1991, a Dove nomination for Urban Recorded Song of the Year in 1999, and a CARA (Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award) nomination for Best Religious Song in 1999

While never abandoning the recording industry, Dr. Dent aspires to further his research of black gospel music, publish a text book on jazz/pop vocal arranging and record as a solo instrumentalist. Dr. Dent lives in Mount Juliet, Tennessee (a suburb of Nashville) with his wife Beverly, and son Cedric Carl, Jr.