Opera singers, WSSU Choir to perform for fundraiser

Opera singers, WSSU Choir to perform for fundraiser
January 28
00:00 2016
Submitted photos
Winston-Salem State University Choir will perform Saturday, Jan. 30 at First Baptist Church, 700 N. Highland Ave.

Special to The Chronicle

Derensky Cooper, director, and First Baptist Church’s Music and Arts Ministry is featuring opera singers baritone Kenneth Overton and Soprano Teresa A. Moore-Mitchell and the Winston-Salem State University Choir under the direction of Maestra D’Walla Simmons-Burke in a benefit concert.

This fundraising concert will be at First Baptist Church, 700 N. Highland Ave., Saturday, Jan. 30 at 5 p.m.

Proceeds will benefit the Winston-Salem State University Choir’s travel and performance as a part of MidAmerica Productions Carnegie Hall concert series, May 8, 2016.  The choir will perform original works of native North Carolinian Maestra/Composer/Arranger Jacqueline Hairston of Sacramento, California.

Simmons-Burke, director of choral and vocal studies at Winston-Salem State University, will also be a featured soloist during the Carnegie Hall concert.

Kenneth Overton is lauded for blending his opulent baritone with magnetic and varied portrayals that seemingly “emanate from deep within body and soul.” Heralded by the BBC for his “exceptional voice,” Overton’s interpretation of the title role in “Porgy and Bess” has been acclaimed as “breathtaking.”

He made his international debut at Deutsche Oper Berlin in the critically acclaimed production from South Africa’s Cape Town Opera. Overton portrayed Porgy with Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, Opera Memphis, Opera Carolina, Lexington Opera Society, the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, the Paducha Symphony and on tour throughout the British Isles.

Overton is a winner of the Liederkranz Competition, Connecticut Opera Guild Competition, Rosa Ponselle Competition (Meriden, CT) and a national winner of the Leontyne Price Vocal Competition.

Teresa A. Moore-Mitchell made her operatic debut performing the role of “The Monitor” in Sour Angelica with the University of North Carolina Opera program. As a touring artist for Opera Carolina, the role of “The Mother” in “Amahl and the Night Visitors” would soon follow and offer the opportunity for Moore-Mitchell to enjoy her first educational tour.

Her exciting interpretation of the role would introduce thousands of young people to the wonderful world of opera. She continued her goal to reach children through opera in the numerous performances of “The Mother” in the opera, Treemonisha, for the African-American Children’s Theater in Charlotte.  Moore-Mitchell has taught voice for Winston Salem State University and Davidson County Community College as an adjunct instructor. She is currently the professor of voice at Livingstone College in Salisbury.

Admission for the Jan. 30 concert is free, but donations will be received during intermission.

Donations may be made payable to the WSSU Foundation and indicate WSSU Choir Travel #2172 in the memo section. For more information, please contact First Baptist Church at 336-722-5605 or Winston-Salem State University at 336-750-2525/  


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