By Zenitha Prince
Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from the Afro American Newspaper
The eyes of the world were trained on popular religious leader Pope Francis during his first visit to the United States since his election in 2013. And, for a little while, Morgan State University Choir Director Eric Conway shared that spotlight.
In the final stop of his American tour, the Vatican pontiff joined tens of thousands of people from around the globe in Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families. And Conway conducted the choir backing up internationally renowned singer Aretha Franklin during a free concert – a signature event of the convocation’s Festival of Families – on the evening of Sept. 26.
“For Aretha Franklin to ask me personally to collaborate with her once again, takes my breath away,” said Conway in a statement prior to the concert. “But to be asked to be a part of possibly the biggest concert in the history of the world, where Pope Francis will be in attendance is phenomenal.”
In addition to the “Queen of Soul,” the concert featured artists such as The Fray, Sister Sledge, Andrea Bocelli, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Colombian superstar Juanes and others.
Conway, an accomplished artist in his own right as a skilled pianist and experienced conductor who has toured the nation and other parts of the world, said he was uniquely excited about this opportunity.
“If I am able to get a good selfie with the Pontiff,” he promised prior to the concert, “I will share!”
The concert entitled ‘Festival of Families Concert’ was hosted by actor Mark Wahlberg.