Getting spiritual with WSSU choirs

The Singing Rams perform during their annual Holiday Concert on Sunday, Dec. 2.

Getting spiritual with WSSU choirs
December 07
10:54 2018

With the theme “Mary’s Song: A ‘Spiritual’ Time,” the Winston-Salem State University’s (WSSU) Singing Rams presented their annual Holiday Concert at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2, at K.R. Wiams Auditorium on WSSU’s campus.

The concert is annually one of WSSU’s biggest events. The Singing Rams – the Grammy-nominated WSSU Choir, the Burke Singers and the Singing Divas –  performed holiday favorites as they told the story of the season.

Special guests were The Little Singing Divas of First Baptist Church (Highland Avenue) in Winston-Salem.

The Angelic Choir (aka – “Little Singing Divas”) is designed to give children – from ages 3 years up to 7 years old an opportunity to sing together. Songs with simple words and repetitive phrases will be geared toward the young singer. This choir represents an integral part of the Music and Arts Ministry of First Baptist Church.

In April 2017, the First Baptist Church’s Angelic Choir was reactivated at the request of parents who desired an opportunity for their children to sing “true” children songs for worship. Although currently there are only four active singers, they share their love for singing each second Sunday during regular worship service and do it so boldly and proudly.

Originally, the Angelic Choir was organized in 1988 under the direction of the late Miss Louise Smith, who remained a faithful supporter and mentor until 1994. There have been several directors and pianists over the years. Several students from WSSU serve as pianists for this choir.

The current singers are: Bryleigh Henighan – age 6 of Ward Elementary School; Heaven Kimbrough – age 6 of Ward Elementary School; Kara Leak – age 6 of Summit School and Jolie Douglass-Steele – age 8 of The Arts Based School.Currently, Mrs. Jo Ann Brown and Mrs. Tandeka Boko serve as directors with Mr. Derensky Cooper, FBC Director of Music and Arts Ministry, as pianist.

The Singing Rams, the Burke Singers and the Singing Divas have performed both nationally and internationally and recorded 11 CDs, which were for sale after the program. Maestra D’Walla Simmons-Burke is director; Dr. Myron Brown, accompanist; Dr. Ronald Patterson, bassist; and guest percussionists. Admission was free but donations  were accepted.

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