Morgan State Singers Join Denison's Gospel Choir for Celebration Concert
Posted: February 3, 2003
The 40 voices of the Morgan Singers from Morgan State University (Md.) return to Denison University for a concert with the Denison Gospel Choir at 7:30 p.m. on Friday (Feb. 14) in Swasey Chapel. The concert celebrates Black History Month and is sponsored by the office of multicultural affairs, the music department and the Vail program. It is free and open to the public.
Directed by Nathan Carter, the Morgan Singers are part of the larger Morgan State University Choir which averages more than 150 voices. They have appeared at Denison twice previously, in February of 1996 and April of 1997. The Denison Gospel Choir is directed by Raymond Wise '83, and had its genesis in the early 1980s when Wise was a Denison student. Following his graduation, the choir disbanded but was reactivated in January 2000 with 26 members. It now has grown to some 130 members.
The Morgan Singers of Morgan State University in Baltimore will return to Denison University for a Black History Month celebration concert in Swasey Chapel on Friday, Feb. 14.Click image to link to a downloadable high-resolution version of this photo.
The Morgan State Choir celebrated its Silver Anniversary year in 1996/97 and its anniversary concert on Maryland Public Television won three Emmy awards and was chosen for national coverage on Christmas Eve 1997. Known for its consistently excellent performances, the choir has appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony and the National Symphony in recent years. Two years ago, they appeared with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under Director Kurt Masur in a commissioned work for the millennium,All Rise, by Wynton Marsalis. The full choir has now recordedAll Risewith the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Regularly touring in both the United States and abroad, the Morgan Singers have participated in the 1992 International Beethoven Festival in Bonn, Germany, in South African, London, Helsinki and Prague. They have helped celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Peace Corps with Harry Belafonte at the Kennedy Center and the 100th Birthday Tribute to Marian Anderson at Carnegie Hall with Jessye Norman.
The Denison Gospel Choir was formed in the early 1980s when Director Raymond Wise '83 was a Denison student. The choir disbanded in 1983, but was reactivated in 2000 with 26 members. It now includes some 130 students and community members.Click image to link to a downloadable high-resolution version of this photo.
The Denison Gospel Choir performs spirituals, traditional and contemporary gospel music and often features musical compositions and arrangements of various gospel composers. The 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. Students in the choir enroll 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.
In addition to teaching at 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 for Opera Columbus. Wise has directed more than 30 choirs, recorded 16 albums, and has performed with a number of orchestras, dance companies and professional recording groups. He is currently a doctoral candidate in music education at Ohio State.
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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