Harmon Sings, Makes It at the Apollo
PRINCESS ANNE, MD - Unassuming and deliberate, Maurice Harmon has existed just under the radar for the six months he has been a part of Public Safety at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Unlike his fans at the Apollo, the campus community has had but a taste of his talent during his performance in the University's most recent dinner theatre production, "Blues N BBQ."
In New York on Wednesday, January 7, however, Harmon became the fourth place winner who was promoted to third place as a result of the support of his family, friends, and fans at the Apollo. Trying to make his way into the music industry is what inspired him to go to the Apollo this time and three times previous.
"My song selection made the difference for me this time," said Harmon. "I chose an R&B song I knew I could perform well. "'Me and Mrs. Jones' resonated with the audience and that made a difference."
Long before Harmon started singing, he wrote rhyme. A stroll in his neighborhood one day set him on the path to trying out his vocals to see if he could sing like the boys the neighborhood girls admired. For perfecting his own style of singing, Harmon said Stevie Wonder has been the most influential. Smokey Robinson and Al Green were also named as some of his favorite musical artists.
"I feel I can be successful in the music industry," said Harmon, "because I know that success goes beyond talent and singing. Work ethic is involved, and you have to be able to adapt to constant changes. I have business sense and I am a people person. In fact, there's nothing better than being around people."
Harmon is currently recording two albums, one R&B and the other Hip Hop; and he is writing a book that he describes as a mystery, a horror and a drama all rolled up into one. By his estimation, the public can look for something from him in the next six months or so. Until then, he is due back to the Apollo to perform on Wednesday, January 28, and his ranking, along with instructions on how to text a vote will be posted here.
For 70 years and counting, amateur night at the Apollo has happened every Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. and is one of the best ways for amateurs to make their way to the television show, "Showtime at the Apollo." Since September 2007, fans have had the option of texting their votes, which determines the top three contestants following each amateur night. Winners are then posted on the Apollo website at www.apollotheater.org/amateur_night_voting.html.
Constructed in 1914, the Apollo Theater is considered the bastion of African-American culture and achievement. The legendary venue has launched the careers of icons such as Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, James Brown and Lauryn Hill and continues to maintain its position as the nation's most popular arena for emerging and established African-American and Latino performers.
Harmon resides in Salisbury, Md., and is currently working on a business degree from the University of Phoenix online.
Suzanne Waters Street, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355, firstname.lastname@example.org.