Grammy-winning UAB professor lands new title with The World Games 2022

The World Games
This new role will include creating the entire musical score for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Photo via The World Games

Distinguished composer, professor and producer Dr. Henry Panion III has been named Artistic Director for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of The World Games 2022. This is a huge job—his original music will be broadcast all over the world. Here’s why it matters for Birmingham.

Meet Dr. Panion

Dr. Panion
Dr. Panion is the Director of Music Technology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Photo via The World Games

Henry Panion III, PhD teaches music theory and technology at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. He’s also a producer, composer, arranger and orchestrator.

Here’s just a few highlights from Dr. Panion’s illustrious career:

  • Two Grammy Awards
  • Two Dove Awards
  • Owner of Audiostate 55 Recording Studios & Entertainment Company
  • Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame Inductee
  • Alabama A & M University Hall of Fame Inductee
  • Worked closely with several major recording artists, including Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Carrie Underwood and more

An Alabama native and graduate of Alabama A&M University, Dr. Panion was appointed to the post of Cultural Ambassador for the City of Birmingham in 2009.

Dr. Panion’s Newest Role

Birmingham, The World Games ceremony
The Opening and Closing Ceremonies are a huge part of any World Games experience. Photo via The World Games

Dr. Panion has officially joined The World Games 2022 as Artistic Director of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. His role with the Games encompasses a few different responsibilities:

  • Create the entire musical score for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies
  • Write and produce all the original music that will be featured
  • Conduct the orchestra performing the music
  • Collaborate with all major recording artists that will participate in the Ceremonies
  • Write and produce an original The World Games 2022 theme song

Here’s what Dr. Panion has to say about his vision heading into the challenge:

“The World Games will bring a once-in-a-lifetime level of focus and attention to Birmingham and Alabama.

It is our goal to showcase and celebrate the very best of Alabama in presentations that are both festive and reflective, commemorating our past yet articulating the hope of our future.”

Dr. Henry Panion III

Another Step Forward for The World Games 2022

Birmingham, World Games
The world is coming to Birmingham! Photo via The World Games 2022

The World Games 2022 continues to make big moves leading up to their main event. We’re less than two years away, and exciting announcements are popping up all the time.

Dr. Panion’s announcement is another development in a series of big Birmingham names joining the team.

“We are excited to see what Dr. Panion is going to create for The World Games 2022. Not only is he a tremendous talent, but he’s Alabama to his roots, and that was huge for us.

These Opening and Closing Ceremonies are going to represent the best that Alabama and Birmingham have to offer, and Dr. Panion absolutely fits that description. His talents will offer a gift of music that will live on long after the lights go down and The Games conclude.”

Nick Sellers, CEO, The World Games 2022

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Beth Cunningham
Beth Cunningham

A Birmingham transplant who can usually be found hitting a new hiking trail or restaurant opening when she's not writing stories and snapping photos for Bham Now.

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