Friday, March 24, 2017

Dr. Eric Conway: Morgan State University Choir 2017 Spring Break Southern Tour Begins with Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, then Heads to Florida

Friday, March 24, 2017

Dr. Eric Conway of Morgan State University writes:

Hello all,

Across the land, university students and faculty are enjoying the very timely "Spring Break!"  Often university choirs, especially those from HBCUs, will take this break to share their music with audiences further away than their local environs. This year during our spring break, the Morgan State University choir planned a tour of southern states including Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.  

Our first stop was Richmond, VA where the Richmond chapter of the Morgan Alumni Association planned a concert at Fifth Baptist Church.  Audrey Watson, President of the Richmond Alumni Association was very instrumental in arranging this concert.  As many as fifteen Morgan alums came up to the front of the sanctuary to sing their Morgan alma mater with the Morgan choir.  See attached a PDF of their elaborate program booklet assembled for the concert.

On Wednesday, we travelled to Smithfield, NC for our 2nd concert.  On the way, we stopped to the original Carolina Barbecue restaurant, where we had an enormous helping of southern cuisine.  The Smithfield concert was at the quaint New Generations Christian Church.  Although this church felt like a stereotypical back-woods church, the spirit of this concert was much greater than concerts sung in much larger mega-churches.  Because the church was so small in area, we were able to sing the concert without any amplification creating a beautiful sound.

On Thursday, we travelled to Cheraw, SC, home of Morgan State Univeristy English professor emeritus Dr. Margaret Reid.  She almost single-handedly arranged for us to perform in her hometown of Cheraw, SC - known as the prettiest town in Dixie!  Cheraw is also known for being the home of trumpeter, Dizzy Gillespie.  We performed at the Cheraw town venue - Theatre on the Green.  Despite being in a very rural section of South Carolina, the audience in attendance who appeared to be quite cosmopolitan and appreciative to all different types of music sung, did not want us to stop singing!  At the end of the concert, Dr. Margaret Reid presented the choir with a generous honorarium and two framed items for us to prominently display back at Morgan.

This morning was the midway point of the tour. We are on our way to Jacksonville, FL for our next stop.  So far, we have enjoyed a great southern tour.   See photos of our first few days on tour.


Eric Conway, D.M.A.
Fine and Performing Arts Department, Chair
Morgan State University
1700 East Cold Spring Lane
Carl Murphy Fine Arts Center, Room 329C
Baltimore, MD 21251

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