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Social and Civic Whirl

Social and Civic Whirl: Bank Street Memorial Baptist Church Hosted The NSU Concert Choir

Ola GossThe Norfolk State University Concert Choir, under the direction of Dr. Carl W. Haywood and accompanied by Terry W. Butler, performed, a free open to the public, magnificent concert to a receptive and warm audience. They began their performance with Handel’s “Zadok The Priest” (Coronation Anthem No. 1). This was followed by “Exsultate Deo” (Sung in Latin) and “Greater Love Hath No Man” by John Ireland with soloists Terri Douglas/soprano and baritone singer Sharod Smithen. Part I of the concert ended with an outstanding rendition of Gilbert Martin’s “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.”

Prior to intermission, where donations were made to the Concert Choir’s Scholarship Fund, songs written by African-American composers were sung. They sang “The Clothes of Heaven” by Adolphus Hailstork (Old Dominion University); a composition “Sing and Rejoice” by Willis James (Morehouse and Spelman/1940s); and “As By The Streams of Babylon” arranged by R. Nathaniel Dett (Hampton University/1930s and 1940s). Then there was the wonderful performance of “On This Day” with tenor soloist Gerell Traynum by Lewis/trans. Carl W. Haywood.

Greetings My Brothers and Sisters, Love One Another/”Sorida” (a Zimbabwe Greeting) opened PART IV. During this segment, tenor Johnnie Watkins was magnificent with the singing of a “Russian Picnic” by Harvey Enders.

PART V of the concert consisted of songs by famed and noted African-American composers Noah F. Ryder (conducted at Norfolk State and Bank Street Memorial Baptist Church); John W. Work (formerly of Fisk University); and Moses Hagans (former director of the Moses Hagan Chorale). The choir sang “My Lord Is So High” arranged by Ryder and superbly sung with a duet by soprano Layla Dixon and tenor Nicholas Estelow; “Lord, I’m Out Here On Your Word” arranged by Work and sung very reverently and sweetly by tenor Johnnie Watkins; and “I Can Tell The World” arranged by Hogan.

The performance ended, as usual, with a gospel song conducted by a student. “It Ain’t Over” by Maurette Brown Clark was conducted by Gerell Traynum an d featured the beautiful voice of soprano Starlet Windham.

To hear other wonderful concerts featuring this outstanding choir consisting of extraordinarily talented young people who “SING with Beauty, Devotion, Expression, and Refinement,” prior to the retirement of Dr. Carl W. Haywood, go to to get the schedule for their remaining performances.

This choir is a must hear and see!!! Please come out and support the arts!!!

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