UMES Hosts Choral Festival, “I, Too, Sing America”

  • Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    PRINCESS ANNE, MD - "I, Too, Sing America," is the title of a choral festival that will be held at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Concert choirs from five different regional universities will perform. The Festival, which will feature guest conductor Carl W. Haywood, of Norfolk State University, will be presented on Sunday, April 1, at 4 p.m. on the stage of the Ella Fitzgerald Center for the Performing Arts on the UMES campus. The community is invited and there is no fee for admission.

    The concert choirs will come from Delaware State University; Cheyney University and Lincoln University, both in Pennsylvania; and Maryland's own Bowie State University and UMES. The title for the Festival is also the title and closing refrain of a poem by Langston Hughes, a 1929 graduate of Lincoln University.

    Guest Conductor Haywood is also an organist, composer, clinician and an educator. Originally from Portsmouth, VA, he is a cum laude graduate of Norfolk State and holds a Master of Sacred Music (organ) and a Master of Music (choral conducting) from Southern Methodist University (SMU). He received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Southern California (USC).

    While at SMU, Haywood studied composition, arranging and conducting with Dr.

    Lloyd Pfautsch, while also serving as associate conductor-organist for the SMU Chapel under Pfautsch and Dr. Robert Anderson. It was during this time that he composed, arranged, conducted and sustained the Chapel's tradition for excellence in music. At USC, his principal teachers included Charles Hirt (choral conducting) and Ladd Thomas (organ).

    One of the leading church musicians in the field, Haywood has served as the service music editor and has arranged/composed 29 compositions for Lift Every Voice and Sing II: An African American Hymnal, published by the Church Publishing Company of the Episcopal Church. He is also the leading contributor to Wonder, Love, and Praise supplement to the Episcopal hymnal. His latest congregational compositions appear in the new hymnal supplement, Voices Found.

    Haywood is a recipient of the "Roy E. Woods Outstanding Teacher Award" from NSU and has received commendations from the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth, VA, for his cultural contributions to the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    The Choral Festival has been funded by the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore.

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    Maureen McNeill, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-651-7580, memcneill@umes.edu.

    Contact: Dr. Sheila McDonald Harleston, director, UMES Concert Choir, 410-651-6574, scharleston@umes.edu.