A&T STUDENT WINS “VOICES OF HISTORY” NATIONAL VOCAL COMPETITION
Angelica McRae, a North Carolina A&T State University senior music major from Charlotte, N.C., is the winner of the 105 Voices of History National Vocal Competition. The event was held recently in Washington, D.C., at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Under the tutelage and vocal preparation of Maestro Travis W. Alexander, the 2010-11 appointed 105 Northern Regional Conductor and Kennedy Center concert organist, McRae competed in a week-long series of five rigorous rounds of auditions, judged by the Washington National Opera Company against the top students chosen from across the nation’s 105 HBCUs winning the title of “National Voice” of the 105 Voices of History National Concert Choir 2011-12.
In addition to winning the competition and a generous scholarship, McRae made her solo Kennedy Center stage debut at the sold out culminating concert of the 105 “Voices of History” National Concert Choir, singing George Gershwin’s “My Man’s Gone Now” from the opera Porgy and Bess, a piece Alexander taught her for the University Choir’s 2011 Northeast Spring Tour.
The concert is sponsored annually by Partners Achieving Success, the Kennedy Center and numerous corporate donors. Each of the 105 HBCU conductors select their best student to participate in a yearlong series of monthly rehearsals held across the country on various HBCU campuses and with various 105 nominated conductors. Alexander assisted by McRae, held rehearsals monthly on the campus of N.C. A&T with students traveling from each HBCU in North Carolina, Virginia and Washington. This culminated with an all expense paid week of intensive study, rehearsal and cultural enrichment in Washington and a full concert on the Kennedy Center Stage with organ, orchestra, celebrity emcees and guest artists. This year’s guest artists were Broadway star and singer Jennifer Holiday and jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum.
Alexander also made his stage debut playing an organ solo literature and accompanying the 105 Voice Choir with orchestra on the Kennedy Center’s legendary three manual Aeolian-Skinner Pipe Organ, which controls more than 4,000 speaking pipes and is the final organ built by the Boston, Mass. firm in the 1960’s.