Choirs Perform at Annual Dawson Concert

TUSKEGEE, Ala. - (March 19, 2007) - The University's Golden Voices Concert Choir will host the spiritual sounds of several invited musical choirs and societies during the 16th Annual William L. Dawson Lecture and Concert, on March 30-31.

This year's annual Dawson Concert, which pays tribute to the legendary composer and arranger of Negro spirituals William Levi Dawson, will feature the sounds of the Clark Atlanta Philharmonic Society, directed by Glynn Halsey; Alabama State University Choir from Montgomery, Ala., directed by Dr. Joel C. Jones; Aeolians of Oakwood College, Huntsville, Ala., directed by Norman L. Crarey; and Savannah State University Concert Choir from Savannah, Ga., directed by Nan P. Spicer. The concert begins 7 p.m., March 31, at the Gen. Daniel "Chappie" James Center.

Selections also will be performed by the Golden Voices; the Tuskegee Alumni Concert Choir, directed by Kim Jones; and the University's Concert Band, conducted by Warren Duncan.

Prior to the Dawson Concert, Dr. Wayne Barr, director of the Tuskegee University Golden Voices Choir will speak during the annual Dawson lecture at 1 p.m., March 30, at University Chapel. Aside from serving as director of choral activities at the University, Dr. Barr has directed as the minister of music and organist at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan with the organ as his major instrument; two master's degrees from Southern Methodist University, one with an emphasis in organ performance and a second in choral conducting; and his undergraduate work was completed with high honors at the Westminster Choir College in New Jersey.

Each year the Dawson highlights the best of musical compositions, arrangements, composers and scholars and stands as a vital part of Founder's Weekend activities.

Dawson organized and headed the School of Music at what was then Tuskegee Institute. Under his conductorship from 1931 to 1955, the Tuskegee Choir of one hundred voices gained international fame. In 1932-1933, the choir was a main attraction at the opening of the International Music Hall of Radio City in New York. By invitation, the Tuskegee Choir performed for President Herbert Hoover in the White House and for President Theodore Roosevelt at Hyde Park in New York. The Choir also performed in such prestigious concert halls as Carnegie Hall, the Academy of Music at Philadelphia and Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. The Tuskegee Choir has given numerous performances over national radio for NBC, ABC and CBS.

Dawson resigned as Director of Music in 1955 and was buried in the Tuskegee University cemetery after his death in 1990.