University Choirs Combine Efforts at Friends Choral Festival

  • Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    PRINCESS ANNE, MD -The Ella Fitzgerald Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore serves as the venue for the 10th annual Inter-Collegiate Music Association (IMA) and Friends Choral Festival on Sunday, November 8, at 5 p.m.

    "Choral FestivalWe are very excited to host for the first time the Inter-Collegiate Music Association Choral Festival," said Dr. Sheila McDonald Harleston, director of choral activities at UMES.  "Approximately 175 singers from Hampton University, Norfolk State University and UMES will participate.  It promises to be an occasion you will not want to miss."

    Each of the choirs will perform selections under their respective directors.  UMES, under the direction of Harleston, will be performing works by Johann Sebastian Bach, John Ness Beck, Andre Thomas, Alice Parker and Robert Shaw.  Hampton University, under the direction of Royzell L. Dillard, director of choirs at Hampton University and the choral coordinator for the IMA, will perform works by Marvin Curtis, Moses Hogan, Allen Pote and F. Noah Ryder.  Performing under the direction of Dr. Carl W. Haywood, Norfolk State University will sing music by Vaughan Williams, Byrd, Berger Tavener and Wise.  The finale features a combined choir of each of the participating universities performing pieces by M. Thomas Cousins and Uzee Brown.

    "The Inter-Collegiate Music Association Choral Division is pleased to share this concert with the community. It is a great opportunity for our different colleges to share music, engage in a spirit of cordiality and to celebrate the rich traditions found in the HBCU choral experience with the surrounding UMES community," said Dillard. 

    According to organizers, the IMA was founded in 1961 with the goal of promoting excellence in music performance and education for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) on the East Coast.  Member institutions cooperate in the exchange of faculty and student artists and share institutional resources.  The organization's statement is, "The IMA is representative of all that is good in music performance, technology, focus and mission."

    The Inter-Collegiate Music Association Choral Festival is free and open to the public.  For more information, call 410-651-6574.                                                            

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    Gail Stephens, assistant director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-651-7580, gcstephens@umes.edu.