HBCU's Featured at the Kennedy Center

WI Staff | 7/30/2010, 1:18 p.m.

HBCU'S Singing As One to Create a National Voive Linking Legacy, Traditions to the Future to Showcase America's Treasures


A national initiative of 105 talented voices representing Historically Black Colleges and Universities, (HBCUs) is the nation's first national collegiate choral group, initiated with the support of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, corporate and federal agency partners. The support continues for a 3rd season. The Kennedy Center is committed to support a Nation Treasure, the 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

It is an honor to provide a significant platform on Sunday, September 19, 2010 at the Kennedy Center to share the HBCU music legacies and talent through the voices of 105 selected students. This is a significant platform to support diversity and inclusion for HBCU students and faculty. The National HBCU Concert Choir features the strongest talent of 105 students from the community of the 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The Kennedy Center platform provides the opportunity for HBCU leaders to collaborate to provide skill development, one student from each of the 105 HBCUs to gain advance training in many areas and perform on America's most renowned cultural center stage, The Kennedy Center. This lifetime experience is a great enhancement to student and conductor's professional development and resumes.

The 105 VOH program showcases both talent and leadership abilities of the selected conductors and 105 gifted students as One Voice. We are astonished the voices/students represent majors across all fields of study. The 105 Voices of History programs extends beyond a Kennedy Center performance, it includes advance training and an educational program agenda that supports student workshops with corporate leaders assistance in diversity, leadership, economic empowerment and healthy lifestyles that support performance excellence at a national level.

It is an honor to share with a diverse audience the legacies of the HBCUs choral talent through student voices, musical selections, choral classics, African American composers, spiritual and gospels proved to be a tour de force showcasing versatility in arrangement, interpretation and execution. The National Concert is "A Salute to Performance Excellence ...singing as one to create a national voice." The choir's theme is "Lifting Voices for Leadership, Diversity, Health, and Economic Empowerment." The awesome mass choir brings joy to the audience and receives constant ovations for their stupendous choral music.

In today's diverse society, it is imperative that leadership development and healthy lifestyles are integrated in all fields of studies and life preparation to achieve performance excellence. It is vital in elevating diversity /inclusion to showcase the rich HBCU musical tradition and legacy of choral singing, writing and performing to be available to all audiences and generations to come. It is our hope that the 105 Voices of History will attract young students and stimulate their desire to pursue a higher education while engaging them in the arts.

The 2010 National Honorary Chairs for the Kennedy Center Performance are; Dr. Louis W. Sullivan, President Emeritus, Morehouse School of Medicine; Ms. Phylicia Rashad, Howard University Graduate and Renowned Actress; Honorable Rodney Slater, Former US Secretary of Transportation and currently with Patton Boggs; Mr. Ernest Green, Principal, Madison Asset Group; Ms. Cathy Hughes, CEO and Chairman TV / Radio One; Ms. Jessye Norman, Renowned Opera Singer and Howard University Graduate, Honorable Joan Pratt, Baltimore City Comptroller. The 2010 event chair is Mr. Floyd W. Green III, AETNA- Head of Community Relations. The Kennedy Center program 2008 / 2009 and 2010 Distinguished National Partners: Aetna Foundation, Delta Air Lines and Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores.

The Kennedy Center 2010 concert will feature a student special soloist "The Voice of the 105 Voices". The Concert host is Dr. Shirley Caesar, music legend, 11 Grammy Awards, 18 Dove Awards,14 Stellar Awards, Most Visible Gospel Singer in the World and an HBCU Graduate Shaw University. The guest artist in song with 105 Voices is Kim Burrell, Stellar Award Winner and Featured on BET Sunday Best and Multiple Grammy Award Nominee. The concert will open with student voices from the US Naval Academy and others representing the armed services.

The program will highlight, legendary-Dr Shirley Caesar, Kim Burrell known as the New Generation "Ella Fitzgerald" in song with the 105 future voices and leaders to make a new mark in HBCU history. The concert highlights include the award of multiple scholarships presented on the Kennedy Center stage. The inaugural 105 Voices of History Choir Concert was held in September 2008 at The Kennedy Center, before a sold out audience of 2,400 people, hosted by Phylicia Rashad, with harpist Jeff Majors as guest artist. The 2009 Concert Host; Mr. Tom Joyner and guest artist was Take 6.

The choir is trained and directed by HBCU Conductors. Each annual performance, four HBCU Conductors are chosen and given the honor to be featured as National Conductors to present the 105 Voices on the Kennedy Center stage.

The 2010 Conductors Team; National Conductors: Dr Wayne Barr - Tuskegee University, Director D'Walla Simmons Burke-Director Winston Salem State, Dr. Curtis Powell - Delaware State University and Professor Jeremy Scott Winston, Ray Charles Distinguished Chair, Wilberforce University. The 2010 conductors training team to prepare the choir included, Dr. Eric Conway, Director of Choral Activities, Morgan State University, Professor Grover Wilson, North Carolina Central University, Dr. Gloria Quinlan, Director, Huston-Tillotson University, Professor Willenham Cortez Castilla, Jackson State University, Professor Marcus Rhodes, Director of Choral Activi-ties, Florida A&M University, Dr Nettles, Tennessee State University and Professor Johnella Edmonds, Virginia State University, Dr Malcolm Breda, Xavier University.

National Student Advisor: Mr. Damon Dandridge, Director of Choral Activities, Cheney University and Ms. Muriel Garr, VP SunTrust Bank, 105 Voices Choral Program Director Professor Royzell L. Dillard, Hampton University and National Advisor and Student Featured Voice Adjudication - 105 Voices of History: Dr. James Weldon Norris, Choral Activities and Professor of Music, Howard University. Upon the conclusion of the concert and Washington experience, student return to their campuses as ambassadors promoting healthy lifestyles and encouragement to peers and others to achieve excellence.

The day prior to the concert, the HBCU National Health Walk is held in support of building commitment for healthy lifestyles for performance excellence throughout the HBCU community. HBCU Alumni, organizations and church health ministry's walk build walk as one in support of building national camaraderie and voice for "105 Ways to Healthy HBCU Scholars, Campuses and Communities". The organization and individual kicks off the morning with the US Navy team and line dancing exercise. The walk launches at the US Capital and convenes at the Lincoln Memorial, a historical path for people of color. Upon the conclusion of the walk, teams of 105 members receive a scholarship donation to support their efforts to assist HBCU students to stay in college. This initiative partners include Aetna and US Navy.

Partners Achieving Solutions, CDC (PAS) the p is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that focuses providing training and opportunities that will create access to open new doors for people of color. We are committed to fostering partnerships and resource development through the inclusion of a broad and diverse spectrum of people, corporations, and foundations, in the public and private sectors. PAS focuses on diversity/inclusion, leadership, performance excellence, and positive lifestyles in order to promote the legacy of HBCUs and communities.

They accomplish their program objectives by utilizing proven success and support through partnerships. PAS links the arts to various educational platforms and training in other vast areas to utilize skills across various arenas as well as to enhance career opportunities. Through this mission, they positively impact creative thinking and healthy lifestyles to support a balance life to achieve excellence.

Through its programs, PAS impacts recruitment and retention of students of color, as they are drawn into the arts and their participation in the Kennedy Center performance and other programs. Student development through the 105 Voices initiative supported by PAS and Kennedy Center performance, will impact diversity and enhance student leadership skills as they become advocates for healthy living in pursuit of higher education and the arts for all young people in this country.

This student and faculty opportunity can only be achieved through committed partner support; Distinguished National Partners: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, AETNA, Delta Air Lines, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc, Significant Partners: Ashley Stewart Foundation Equals Three Communications, Inc., First Priority Trailways, Inc. Marriott International*Men's Warehouse*President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, National Endowment for the Humanities, Northrop Grumman, ODNI/IC Centers of Academic Excellence, Outback Steakhouse Corporation (OSI Restaurant Partners, LLC), Sodexo, SunTrust Bank, The National Endowment for the Arts, Wells Fargo, The Coca-Cola Company, Thompson Hospitality U.S. Navy, Van McCoy Music, Inc., Verizon, Xerox Foundation and Supporting Partners Dorothy I. Height Community Academy PCS (Public Charter School),Enterprise Rental Car, Les Bonne Amies.

The 2010 Concert: Sunday, September 19, 2010
3rd Annual HBCU Kennedy Center Concert
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
2700 F Street, NW Washington, DC 20566
105 Selected Students Representing the 105 HBCUs
"Celebrating Historically Black Colleges and Universities Legacies and Talents."
European Classical, Spirituals, Gospel and Jazz.
Early Ticket Reservation - www.hbcuchoirs-105.org
Partners Achieving Success, CDC
105 Voices of History
12301 Longwater Drive, Bowie, MD 20721
Office: 301-390-8332 * Fax: 301-390-3292 * www. hbcuchoirs-105.org