W-S Prep chorus joins Diggs Memorial to celebrate Black History

W-S Prep chorus joins Diggs Memorial to celebrate Black History
February 18
00:00 2016
Photo by Timothy Ramsey
The W-S Prep chorus sings Travis Green’s hit single “Intentional” and engages everyone in the audience.



The mixed chorus from the Winston Salem Preparatory Academy joined Diggs Memorial United Holy Church, 125 N. Graham Ave., in its Black History Month celebration on Sunday, Feb. 14.

Winston-Salem Prep performed a number of songs from African hymns in the song’s native language, to modern Christian hits such as “Intentional” by Travis Greene. Winston Prep chorus director Y. Renee Matthews-Phifer says she likes to expose her students to many different genres of music from classical, gospel and of course, African music so they get a sense of where they come from.

According to church secretary Pamela Rivers, the chorus connected with Diggs Memorial through Rev. Annie Duck and lead Pastor Lamonte Williams, who works within the school system.  2015 was the first year the school performed at the church during Black History Month and did such a great job they were asked to return and perform this year as well.

The night started off with a skit based on First Corinthians performed by members of the church that showed the proper way to present communion and how some have abused the sacred ritual.  This was followed by an interpretative dance by Kayla Smoot who also attends Winton Prep. The chorus then took the stage and performed a number of songs, one more powerful than the last.  The pinnacle of the evening was the chorus’ rendition of Travis Greene’s smash hit “Intentional” where emotion started to touch everyone, from members of the chorus to parents in the audience and even chorus director Ms. Matthews-Phifer.

“It touched me because of everything I have been through in the last year and I know that He is an intentional God,” said Matthews-Phifer of why she was so emotional at the end of the performance.  She went on to say that she was in a car accident last summer and was unable to start off the school year with her students. That really bothered her and her goal was to get better to make it back to her students as soon as possible. Matthews-Phifers’ son, who played percussion during the performance, thanked the students for all the love and well wishes they gave his mother and let them know how much they assisted in her recovery.

The evening concluded with a special gift presented to Matthews-Phifer from the church.

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