Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Patrick McCoy, 'U. S. State Department taps Nolan Williams to lead cultural envoy to Egypt'

[Nolan Williams, Jr.]

Patrick D. McCoy
July 24, 2012

The Washington, D. C. based NEWorks Productions has informed the D. C. Performing Arts Examiner that Nolan E. Williams, Jr. as been tapped by the U. S. State Department to lead a cultural envoy to Cairo, Egypt. He will lead an impressive ensemble of nine singers on the tour.  which includes 2012 Helen Hayes Award winner Nova Tate, Washington National Opera soprano Samantha McElhaney and gospel recording artist Vanessa Williams. Completing the ensemble are Dennis Sawyers, Victoria Purcell, Byron Nichols, Danton Whitley, Iyona Blake, and Joy Swafford.

The NEWorks Inspirational Voices will represent the United States as cultural envoys, singing for the Fifth Annual Sufi and Chanting Festival, an international festival sponsored by Egypt's Ministry of Culture.

Washington National Opera soprano Samantha McElhaney shared about the invitation. "It is an opportunity of a lifetime. When Nolan asked, I could not turn it down. To even go to represent the United States is a blessing. It is the essence of of my career. I feel it is my calling to sing for many nations. So for this to be an international festival and singing for it, I am living out my career. Many are called and few are chosen, and I am blessed to be chosen." the soprano said from her home
Willliams is certainly excited about the invitation and reflected further. "When I first received an email from a State Department official inquiring if I would be interested in this tour, I was absolutely thrilled, to say the least. I had long hoped to become connected with their cultural exchange programs and had planned to one day apply.  It is gratifying to know the work that I have been doing has raised a level of attention that incited this prestigious invitation." he said.

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