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B-CU Receives Best Choir Nomination By HBCU Digest

ChoraleGoodNewsOn the heels of what has been a dynamic year for B-CU’s Concert Chorale, the world renowned choral performers were recently nominated for “Best Choir” by HBCU Digest, a national online publication highlighting historically Black colleges and universities. Finalists for the seventh annual event were selected from more than 175 nominations from HBCUs across the country.

Throughout the years, The B-CU Concert Chorale has performed in front of notables and since 2013 traveled up and down the east coast and abroad making appearances in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, D.C., Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Cuba and Colombia. This year, the Chorale is comprised of 50 choir members who have maintained cumulative GPA’s of 3.0 or higher; several students were mentioned on the president’s list for the 2016-17 academic year.

Additionally, the chorale gave performances during the Christmas holidays singing selections from Handel’s Messiah and traveled to Washington, D.C. in December to perform during a White House holiday party where they presented holiday-themed music from a variety of holiday traditions, including Christmas, Chanukah, Bohemian, and jazz. Shortly following, the choir was invited to Michigan to appear on the The Word Network’s, “Empowerment Encounter with Jamal Bryant.” In April, the Chorale gave their spring concert and performed Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha.

The B-CU Concert Chorale has attained great success in promoting the historical perspective and honor of Bethune-Cookman University through song. Director of the Concert Chorale, Damon Dandridge, who has directed the choir since 2013, has expressed great interest in collaborative efforts to expand the vision and opportunities for the chorale. The B-CU Concert Chorale, HBCU Records and the Mike Curb Institute have partnered to produce an album that is scheduled to release October 2017. The goal for the CD and documentary project is to provide exposure to student and faculty collaboration, increase awareness of the Chorale, and offer fundraising opportunities to enhance the University. “This opportunity is a dream come true to record an album and possibly win a notable award for our work,” said Dandridge. The CD will contain spirituals, gospel music, and original compositions all by African-American composers, along with a documentary about the history of the B-CU Concert Chorale. Faculty and collaborators are currently planning to air the documentary on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) during Black History Month 2018.

B-CU’s Concert Chorale places in the HBCU Digest Awards category for Best Choir among Morgan State University Choir; Virginia State University Gospel Chorale; and North Carolina Central University Vocal Jazz Ensemble. The Seventh Annual HBCU Digest Awards ceremony will be held on July 14, 2017 in Washington D.C.’s Gallup Building beginning at 7:00 p.m. Winners will be announced the evening of the ceremony.

For more information, contact Damon Dandridge, B-CU Concert Chorale Director, 386-481-2776 or dandridged@cookman.edu.

Office of Communications

Ursula James
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About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit www.cookman.edu.

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