Denison University Gospel Choir Presents Concert Of Spirituals
Posted: April 1, 2002
The Denison University Gospel Choir, directed by faculty member and Denison alumnus Raymond Wise, will present "A Concert of Gospel Music and Spirituals" at 7 p.m. on Sunday (April 7) in Swasey Chapel. The concert is free and open to the public.
The 100-plus-voice choir will perform a varied program of spirituals, traditional and contemporary gospel music and will feature musical compositions and arrangements of various gospel composers, including works by Wise. The titles include: "Let Everything That Hath Breath Praise The Lord," "Come Let Us Sing Unto The Lord," "Were You There When They Crucified My Lord" and "For God So Loved The World," among others. The choir also will share musical selections performed on its recent tour to Portugal.
Formed in the spring of 2000, the Denison Gospel Choir is comprised of students, faculty, staff andcommunity members of many races and nationalities. While a few student members are music majors, the majority are non-music majors who represent various academic majors and class levels. All students are enrolled in an African-American Gospel Music and Spirituals course taught by Wise in which they receive training in the performance and historical development of African-American Gospel. The Choir's successes have brought them invitations to sing for various church and civic events throughout the Central Ohio area.
A 1983 graduate of Denison, Wise is the founder and president of Raise Productions, a gospel music production company in Columbus. He has performed for the Baltimore Opera Company and was master choir director for the world premiere ofVanqui, composed by Leslie Burrs for Opera Columbus.
Wise has composed more than 490 works and wrote the musical score forBarefoot, an opera based upon a children's book about the Underground Railroad. He served as musical director for the production by The Children's Theater Board of Winston Salem (N.C.), with narration by Maya Angelou.
During his undergraduate years at Denison, Wise reorganized the Black Student Union Choir and started the Black Student Union Ensemble and Dance Company.
He currently serves as a part-time member of the Denison music department faculty and also teaches at the Columbus School for Girls and Ohio State, where he is working on his doctoral degree in music education.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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