DCCC to Host Evening of Song as Part of 50th Anniversary Celebration with ‘Then Sings My Soul’

Feb 11, 2013 – Davidson County Community College will feature the talents of Cheryse McLeod Lewis, an accomplished performer in opera, concert and recital, as part of “Then Sings My Soul: Songs and Spirituals from the American Experience.” The event, part  of the yearlong celebration of DCCC’s 50th anniversary, will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. on Feb. 21 in the Reich Auditorium on the Davidson Campus. Admission is free and open to the public; however, seating is limited.

The evening of song will celebrate the rich musical history of America, including spirituals and popular Broadway songs, including tunes such as “Ride On Jesus,” arranged by R. Nathaniel Dett; “Every Time I Feel the

Cheryse McLeod Lewis

 Spirit,”  arranged by Benjamin Blozan; “Ride On, King Jesus,” arranged by Hall Johnson; “Day By Day” from “Godspell”; “Do You Hear the People Sing,” from “Les Miserables”; “Climb Every Mountain,” from “The Sound of Music”; as well as “I Have a Dream,” arranged and composed by Lee Hoiby which includes text from the famous “I Have a Dream” speech by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and much more.

“This event serves as not only a wonderful event for our students and community, but also a remarkable way to help DCCC continue its 50th anniversary celebration,” says Jenny Varner, vice president of External Affairs and executive director of the DCCC Foundation. “Ms. Lewis is an accomplished singer who will surely perform a brilliant repertoire that our community is sure to enjoy.”

Lewis, a mezzo-soprano, is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in voice performance; The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she earned a Master of Music in voice performance; and the AJ Fletcher Opera Institute, where she obtained a Professional Artist Certificate in opera.

A native of Greensboro and currently based in Seattle, Lewis has been commended for her “stunning vocal power” and “rich lyric mezzo sound.” She has had leading roles including the title role in “Carmen” in the Capital Opera in Raleigh and the Asheville Lyric Opera, Hansel in “Hansel and Gretel” in the Connecticut Opera and the Greensboro Opera, and many more.

Lewis has appeared in concert and recital to rave reviews and has performed as a soloist with Orchestra Seattle, Gettysburg Festival, Eastern Music Festival, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony and more.  In addition to concerts, she has hosted Masterclasses and workshops at colleges and universities in North Carolina and several other states. In November, 2012, Lewis released her debut solo album, “Spirituals,” which can be found at CheryseMusic.com.

Jonathan Emmons

Lewis will be accompanied by Jonathan Emmons, freelance collaborative artist, conductor pianist and organist throughout the region. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in music from Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Va., and a Master of Music in choral conducting from the University of Michigan.

Emmons is currently active at UNCG’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance, High Point University and the Greensboro Day School. He was previously organist and choirmaster at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, and assistant conductor of the Choral Society of Greensboro, as well as director of choirs and assistant professor of music at Wesley College in Dover, Del.

To reserve a seat for the event, call 336-224-4680 or email foundation@davidsonccc.edu.

Founded in 1963, Davidson County Community College is noted for its quality educational programs and services. As one of 58 institutions within the North Carolina Community College System, DCCC offers studies in more than 50 degree programs. A fully-accredited, multi-campus college, DCCC celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. It is committed to developing minds, inspiring imaginations, and preparing students for enhanced career and educational opportunities within a changing global environment. Visit Davidson County Community College on the Web at davidsonccc.edu.