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

Jonathan Emmons and Cheryse McLeod Lewis

Feb 25, 2013 – The talents of opera performer Cheryse McLeod Lewis highlighted an evening of music and celebration as part of Davidson County Community College’s “Then Sings My Soul: Songs and Spirituals from the American Experience.” The event was one of many that will be featured as part of DCCC’s 50th anniversary throughout the year. 

The evening of song celebrated the rich musical history of America, including spirituals and popular Broadway songs. Tunes performed included, “Ride On Jesus,” arranged by R. Nathaniel Dett; “Every Time I Feel the 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 many more. 

“The DCCC family, as well as our community, were delighted by the brilliant musical performance,” says Lynne Watts, director of Student Life and Leadership at DCCC. “Ms. Lewis presented a dynamic concert, which provided our community with an outstanding opportunity to help us continue our 50th anniversary celebration.”

Lewis, a mezzo-soprano and Greensboro native, received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in voice performance from Carnegie Mellon University; a Master of Music in voice performance from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro; and a Professional Artist Certificate in opera and the AJ Fletcher Opera Institute. She has appeared in concert and recitals 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. 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 was 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.

DCCC will continue its 50th anniversary celebration on March 12 with a lunchtime symposium, titled “Leadership During Turbulent Times and Opportunities for the Next 50 Years,” on the Davidson Campus. The event will feature two of our nation’s top thought leaders and business experts, Howard Putnam and Daniel Burrus.

*Editor’s Note: Pictured are performers Jonathan Emmons and Cheryse McLeod Lewis.

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.