NC A&T STATE UNIVERSITY CHOIR RETURNS TO WHITE HOUSE
North Carolina A&T State University Choir, under the direction of Maestro Travis W. Alexander, performed in concert at the White House on February 17. The choir was invited back for an encore performance by President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle and the office staff in celebration of Black History Month. Last year, the choir made its debut performance there to rave reviews on February 26, 2011.
"What an extraordinary honor and privilege it is for me and my students to be allowed to perform in the most prominent venue worldwide. Even most world renowned performers can't boast of having performed in the White House. This is an experience that my students will forever cherish and hopefully will spark a greater academic enthusiasm within them toward practicing and perfecting their musical craft. This is a once in a lifetime experience, and we are not taking it lightly,” said A&T University Choir Director Travis W. Alexander, who in a brief four year tenure has doubled the choir in size and made it nationally renowned through its concert tours, appearances and riveting and versatile choral repertoire.
“I was only allowed to bring 28 of the 40 plus students enrolled in the choir along with me and an accompanist, our frequent guest pianist Rochelle L. Joyner of Bennett College for Women.”
Alexander explained that all members of the choir were given an opportunity to participate in a rigorous and competitive audition. They were required to memorize all music to be performed, sight- read new music at random with correct rhythms and pitches and sing their various parts randomly in solo, duet, trio or quartet formations. The choir also had extra rehearsals outside of the daily 1-1:50 p.m. class rehearsal time every day for three weeks from 5-7 p.m.
The choir’s repertoire included Classical Masterworks, Negro spirituals, and gospel music. Under the direction of Maestro Alexander the choir performed Lift Every Voice and Sing –Roland Carter, Way Over in Beulah Land –Stacey Gibbs, God So Loved The World – Carl Nygard, Ezekiel Saw The Wheel -William Dawson, Anthem of Praise –Richard Smallwood and a “crowd pleasing” Motown Review including hits “Respect” and “In The Midnight Hour.”
Choir members selected to participate in the 2012 performance included:
Tanesha Anthony (Madison Heights, Va.), Brandon Bellerand (Greensboro, N.C.), Jasmine Boone (Greensboro, N.C.), Arquize Bowser (Roanoke Rapids, N.C.), Lateisha Boykin (Clinton, N.C.), Micaela Bundy (St. Joseph, Mo.), James Canty (Reidsville, N.C.), Jasmine Carter (Lithonia, Ga.), Chelsea Davis (Charlotte, N.C.), Deja Edmond (Virginia Beach, Va.), Aaron Graham (Greensboro, N.C.), Tiffany Jackson – Henderson (Greensboro, N.C.), Adrienne Jernigan (Durham, N.C.), Phillip Jones (Columbia, Md.), John Jones (Elizabethtown, N.C.), KaLaisha Knight (Raleigh, N.C.), Stacee’ Lyles (Washington, D.C.), Terry McLean Jr. (Fayetteville, N.C.), Anjelica McRae (Charlotte, N.C.), Brandon Miller (Raleigh, N.C.), Brandon Monroe (Coats, N.C.), Ashenna Moore (Kingston, N.C.), Marktavious Patton (Charlotte, N.C.), Najaya Ruffin (Wilson, N.C.), Chelsey Stanley, (Fayetteville, N.C.), Laurence Thompson (Raleigh, N.C.), Xavier Williams (Fayetteville, N.C.) and Alexis Wooten (Durham, N.C.).