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Vespers a reunion of sound

Johnson C. Smith University’s annual Christmas Vespers service was a grand success Dec. 2, 2018. This year’s Vespers were even more anticipated than usual, as the program featured the combined voices of the JCSU Concert Choir and the newly organized JCSU Alumni Choir, as well as more community partnership.

The program opened with a prelude from the Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology orchestra. Notes from the young musicians’ stringed instruments sweetened the air as university and community members filled every pew in the Jane M. Smith Memorial Church.

Under the direction of Dr. Shawn-Allyce White, the choirs filled the sanctuary with soul-soothing sounds. Alto soloist Janetta Wall ’13 led the first song, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” as the combined choirs entered the church. The ensuing program of classic Christmas music included “Handel’s Messiah,” and “Oratorio de Noel,” as well as newer favorites “Rockin’ Jerusalem,” “Children, Go Where I Send Thee” and Kirk Franklin’s “Silver and Gold.”

The Crown Jewels (NC) Chapter of the Links Inc. Arts Facet were partners in the program, supporting performances by soprano Jewel Holmes ’22 and baritone Jaaven Middleton ’22.

White was honored by students and alumni, in presentations from Deomunique Abrams ’19 and Ron Matthews, former director of Alumni Relations, who gave her a special gift on behalf of the Class of ’78.

Overall, it was an amazing evening of reunions and new relationships while we celebrated the ties that bind.

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