Portrait of a Queen: Charlotte Symphony Orchestra + JCSU Concert Choir

Students sing at CSO + JCSU Concert 2024

Charlotte, N.C./April 2, 2024 - Inauguration Week kicked off with a joint concert titled “Portrait of a Queen,” featuring the JCSU Concert Choir, JCSU Drumline and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. This year was the second consecutive year of this partnership. More than 400 tickets were issued for this event, held inside the Jack S. Brayboy Gymnasium, April 2, 2024.

The concert emerged after Dr. Valerie Kinloch received a special appointment within the orchestra’s leadership.

“I just got elected to the Symphony’s board, and so to have them on campus at JCSU performing with the Johnson C. Smith University Concert Choir, that’s beautiful,” said Kinloch.

The Johnson C. Smith Concert Choir performed under the direction of Dr. Shawn-Allyce White, Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities with piano accompaniment provided by Frank Williams ’71. The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra performed under the direction of Christopher James Lees, Resident Conductor.

Dr. White reflected on the experience:

Dr. White Performs at CSO + JCSU Concert 2024

“Performing with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra was an exhilarating experience for the JCSU Concert and Alumni Choir members and me. This wonderful opportunity for our choir students will always be cherished and remembered as a result of Experiential Learning. Kudos to Alumni Choir members for their visibility and support.”

The Symphony and the Choir played in combined and alternating patterns of performance. Dr. White reveals how hard the music students work throughout the year to perform at such a high level.

“As Director of the JCSU Concert Choir, preparations for the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and the JCSU Concert Choir Concert are ongoing daily rehearsals from 3 – 5 p.m. I am proud to state choir students are dedicated and consistent in developing their singing skills through aspects of choral techniques using correct posture, musical phrasing, good tone quality, and breathing and breath control; the engine that powers the voice to achieve performing levels of diverse choral music with artistic integrity. “

The Charlotte Symphony commenced the evening with Overture to La forza del destino by Giuseppe Verdi.  The JCSU Concert Choir joined in with a rendition of Walk Together, Children by William H. Smith.
The concert featured nine selections, including the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and the JCSU Loyalty Song. The title performance, “Portrait of a Queen,” was performed with great gusto.  It is an overture that chronicles the journey of black people from Africa to America. In the CSO + JCSU Concert Choir event, Dr. Shawn-Allyce White played the oratorical part of the Queen, a strong and eloquent black woman, who undergoes a conversion from an African Queen to an enslaved woman on an American plantation. The performance was powerful in Dr. White’s emotional elocution and in the stirring crescendos and decrescendos performed by the symphony.

The evening was punctuated by a thunderous performance delivered by the JCSU Drumline. The drummers carried the rhapsody from center court through the mezzanine of the gym to the outdoor plaza where they were greeted by a gaggle of enthusiastic concert-goers.  

Related Articles

Class of 2024 Walks into Bojangles Coliseum
Waves of Golden Bulls flooded Bojangles Coliseum on Sunday, May 19, 2024, at 11 a.m. to walk across the stage, some of them for the first time, to receive their degrees. Johnson C. Smith University conferred 228 degrees, 207 to undergraduate students, and 21 to graduate students in the Master of Social Work program. A total of 125 of those graduates completed their studies with Latin honors by earning a 3.0 grade-point average or higher throughout their collegiate career.
View Content
Dr. Alphonso Ogbuehi, Mike Lamach and Chasity Boyce
Mike Lamach is the retired CEO of Trane Technologies and a member of the JCSU Board of Trustees. On the evening of Wednesday, April 24, 2024 he was the featured speaker of the Dean's Distinguished Speaker Series, sponsored by the Johnson C. Smith University College of Business. Chasity Boyce, Managing Director of US and European Business Management Barings, LLC, served as co-moderator of the conversation, alongside Dr. Alphonso Ogbuehi, Dean of the College of Business.
View Content
Gaming Day 2024
The Johnson C. Smith University Esports and Gaming program continues to break new ground and carve out fresh territory in Charlotte. On Saturday, April 27, Esports and Gaming faculty and staff welcomed up to 30 middle and high school students from near and far, from the Charlotte Metro area to Greensboro, N.C. The event was called STEM and STEAM: Changing the Game through Esports and Gaming.  
View Content