Songs of the Season” will be the theme of the Annual Fall Concert presented by the choral and vocal studies program at Winston-Salem State University on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 4 p.m. in the K. R. Williams Auditorium on campus.
The concert will feature music ranging from Handel’s “Messiah” to seasonal African and African American folk songs and spirituals performed by the WSSU Choir, University Women, Schola Cantorum and Burke Singers. Admission is free, but there will be an offering taken to support the WSSU Choir’s upcoming travels to Nassau, Bahamas and Namibia, South Africa.
“We are extremely delighted to have Valerie Johnson and Dorothy Childs leading the choir in performing ‘Messiah’ along with our students Antony Howard and Daniel Smith,” said D’Walla Simmons-Burke, director of choral and vocal studies at WSSU and conductor for the concert. “We also will have a community chamber orchestra providing the accompaniment for that portion of the concert and it will include WSSU students and faculty, UNCSA faculty and members of the Greensboro and Winston-Salem orchestras. Dr. Gregory Thompson, the newest member in the WSSU music department, will also be joining the performance as organist and Dr. Myron Brown will once again be the accompanist for the concert.”
Johnson, a soprano, is an instructor of music and conductor of the Bennett College Choir. Childs, a contralto, is a graduate of WSSU. She has had solo performances in several cities and states across the country, including singing before thousands of people at the Ministers’ and Choir Directors’ Conference in Hampton, Va. Thompson, an associate professor of music at WSSU, has performed as a solo and collaborative artist in various venues in the United States, Europe and Asia, including Carnegie Hall in New York and The Steinway Gallerie in Salzburg, Austria.
Students Antony Howard, a tenor, and Daniel Smith, a baritone, both sing in the WSSU Choir and Schola Cantorum. They also have represented WSSU in the 105 Voices of History HBCU National Concert Choir that includes singers from each of the nation’s 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities.