MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY CHOIR
Ghana | Togo | Benin | Nigeria
Dr. Eric Conway, music director
CAPE COAST, GHANA | Tuesday, 23 May 2023 | 18:30 GMT
University of Cape Coast, Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Catholic Church
In collaboration with:
Pax Romana Choir, UCC | Madonna Choir, UCC | Holy Family Choir, Elmina Basilica | St. Joseph the Worker Church Choir, Apewosika
ACCRA, GHANA | Thursday, 25 May 2023 | 18:30 GMT
National Theatre Accra
In collaboration with the Harmonious Chorale
LOMÉ, TOGO | Friday, 26 May 2023 | 18:30 GMT
Co-presented by Classical Movements and the United States Embassy in Lomé
Agora Senghor – Lomé
In collaboration with the University of Lomé Choir “Avenir”
COTONOU, BENIN | Saturday, 27 May 2023 | 19:00
Presented by the United States Embassy in Cotonou
Blue Room, Palais du Congres
In collaboration with University of Abomey-Calavi Choir
LAGOS, NIGERIA | Monday, 29 May 2023 | 18:00
Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina
In collaboration with the Cathedral Choir
OGUN STATE, NIGERIA | Tuesday, 30 May 2023 | 18:00
Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State
In collaboration with the Babcock University Choir
LAGOS, NIGERIA | Wednesday, 31 May 2023 | 17:00
Agip Recital Hall, MUSON Centre
In collaboration with the MUSON Diploma Choir conducted by Sir. Emeka Nwokedi
MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY CHOIR TOUR REPERTOIRE
WEST AFRICA TOUR REPERTORIE
Lift Every Voice and Sing J. Rosamund Johnson
arr. Roland Johnson
In Bright Mansions Roland Carter
To Sit and Dream Rosephanye Powell
Examine Me Cedric Dent
I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes Adolphus Hailstork
1. I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes
2. How Long?
3. The Lord Is My Shepherd, Alleluia
Precious Lord arr. Nathan Carter
If I Can Help Somebody arr. Nathan Carter
Hope Ysaye M. Barnwell
My God is a Rock Damon Dandridge
The Battle of Jericho Moses Hogan
My Soul’s Been Anchored Moses Hogan
I Know I’ve Been Changed Damon Dandridge
Just Come From the Fountain Raymond Wise
Be Still and Know that I am God Barrie Cabena
Quiet Place Ralph Carmichael
Arr. By Jerry Rubino
Over the Rainbow arr. Roger Emerson
Various Selections in the Gospel Style Chosen from below
Jehovah Sabaoth Donald Lawrence
Any Day Now Vincent Bohanan
For Who You Are Eric Scott
The Lord Be Praised Margaret Douroux
Even me arr. Patrick Lundy
Praise the Lord T.D. Jakes
Oye James Armaah
Anthem of Praise Richard Smallwood
Heal the World Michael Jackson
Joyful, Joyful arr. Mervyn Warren
Oh, Happy Day Edwin Hawkins
The Battle Hymn of Republic Traditional
ABOUT THE ENSEMBLE
MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY CHOIR
The Morgan State University Choir is one of the nation’s most prestigious university choral ensembles. The choral forces of this critically acclaimed choir include The University Choir, which is over 120 voices strong, and The Morgan Singers – approximately 40 voices. While classical, Gospel, and contemporary popular music comprise the choir’s repertoire; the choir is noted for its emphasis on preserving the heritage of the spiritual, especially in the historic practices of performance.
The Morgan State University Choir has performed for audiences throughout the United States and all over the world – including Virgin Islands, Canary Islands, Canada, Africa, Asia and Europe. One of the choir’s most historic moments was performing under the baton of Robert Shaw, conducting the Orchestra of St. Lukes and joined by Jessye Norman and others in Carnegie Hall’s One Hundredth Birthday Tribute to Marian Anderson. A major milestone happened 1996-1997 season when the “Silver Anniversary” concert was broadcast throughout the state of Maryland. The concert won three Emmy Awards for Maryland Public Television (MPT). MPT continues to air this hallmark performance during sections of their membership drives.
Known for their consistency of excellent performances, the choir probably performs with more major orchestras of the United States than any other university choir. During the 1999-2000 season, the choir was featured with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in a (then) newly commissioned work for the millennium, “All Rise,” by Wynton Marsalis. The choir reprised “All Rise” in Prague, in October 2000 and recorded it with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra; the Los Angeles Philharmonic; and in 2003, the choir recorded it in Paris. In December 20032 the choir performed “African Portraits” with the Baltimore Symphony, at the Gala Concert for the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture. In its May 2004 issue, Reader’s Digest named the Morgan State University Choir “the Best College Choir in the U.S.’ in its list of “America’s 100 Best.”
In February 2005, the choir performed at the invitation of Secretary of State Condeleeza Rice for the State Department’s annual African American History Month Celebration. The Choir sang later that year for the service honoring Rosa Parks, who lied in state at our nation’s Capitol Rotunda. In 2006, the choir performed in a televised benefit for victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans to critical acclaim; performed two concerts in Prague, Czech Republic, with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. In March 2007, the choir sang at the Kennedy Center for a Living Jazz Legends Concert performing with jazz icons: Nancy Wilson, Billy Taylor, Regina Carter, Jon Faddis, and T.S. Monk. In August 2007, US Ambassador Bridgewater to Ghana invited the choir to help that country celebrate its 50th year of Independence.
In April 2008, the Morgan State University Choir sang at Carnegie Hall performing Faure’s Requiem Mass with Bobby McFerrin and the Orchestra of St. Lukes. October, of the same year, the choir returned to Carnegie Hall, with Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. The BSO featured a seldom-performed piece – Leonard Bernstein’s Mass – to celebrate his 90th birthday. In 2009, the recording of Mass was released and subsequently heralded by critics as the definitive recording of the work! As a result of this acclaim, the recording was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Classical Album of 2009. Also, in 2009, the choir traveled to: Bogotá and Medellín, Colombia in South America at the invitation of the US Ambassador to Colombia; and in July 2009, the choir traveled to South Africa to sing in an international choral festival. One of the highlights of the tour was singing Happy Birthday to President Nelson Mandela for his 90th birthday celebration on national South African television.
In May 2010, the choir received acclaim for its performance with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Kathleen Battle on a program entitled The Underground Railroad. A week later, the choir was off to a ten-day, five-city tour of China. The Chinese tour included two concerts at the Shanghai Expo – The World’s Fair, performing an eclectic program comprised of music from Beethoven to Michael Jackson. In October 2010, the choir travelled to St. Petersburg, Russia to participate in a Conservatory-week Festival at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, one of only three U.S. universities to participate. In May of 2011, Maryland Public Television released a new DVD of the choir in high definition, simply entitled: Lift Every Heart. Also in 2011, the choir travelled to Italy, which included performances at the Vatican in Rome.
In August 2011, the choir sang for an event celebrating the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Memorial in Washington, DC. On September 11, 2011, the choir sang for the unveiling of the Maryland State 911 Memorial in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. In November, the choir sang with Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in a concert at Carnegie Hall, singing Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake. In April of 2012, the choir premiered a symphony, “Affirmations” by Williams Benfield with the acclaimed group, Sweet Honey in the Rock and the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center. In 2012, the choir toured Brazil. and toured Jamaica–invited by of US Ambassador to Jamaica, Pamela Bridgewater In 2013, the choir performed Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana with the BSO. In June 2013, the choir traveled to their farthest destination in Australia to share their music!
During the summer of 2014, the choir traveled to Qatar, Oman, and United Arab Emirates with performances in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. During their Eastern European tour, the choir travelled to Belarus. In September, the choir sang for the 200th anniversary of the National Anthem at Fort McHenry.
In April 2015 at the request of First Lady, Michelle Obama, the choir was part of a televised performance at The White House—before President and Mrs. Obama—a PBS Special entitled Music in the Gospel Tradition. The choir sang background for Aretha Franklin, Shirley Caesar and Tamela Mann. They also performed at the installation of Attorney General, Loretta Lynch. And in November 2015, the choir performed a world premiere with the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, the world premiere of One Land, One River, One People, by renowned composer Hannibal Lokumbe. In 2016, the choir performed a semi-staged performance of Porgy and Bess with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to rave reviews. In 2016, the choir toured Cuba, where they had concerts in Cienfuegos, Santa Clara, and Havana! In summer of 2017, the choir toured Spain and Portugal! In September 2017, the Morgan State University choir sang for the funeral of Dick Gregory in Washington, DC. And the choir performed the Sacred Concerts of Duke Ellington with the Smithsonian Jazz Orchestra at the Nation Museum of Natural History. During the summer of 2018 the choir traveled to Slovakia, Germany, and Austria, where they sang in St. Marks Cathedral (one of Vienna’s most famous cathedrals).
The Morgan State University Choir continues to share its musical gifts on many grand stages all over the world – with numerous dignitaries and celebrated performers – making them cultural ambassadors for Morgan State University, the City of Baltimore, the State of Maryland and the United States. Please visit www.msuchoir.org for additional information.
Dr. Eric Conway, Director
Eric Conway is the Chairperson of the Fine and Performing Arts Department as well as the Director of the Morgan State University Choir. He served as associate conductor and principal accompanist for the Morgan State University Choir for over twenty years under the leadership of the late Nathan Carter. He received his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University where he majored in Piano Performance and minored in Conducting. While at the Peabody, Conway was a recipient of the prestigious Liberace Scholarship, as well as a winner in the Yale Gordon Concerto Competition where he earned the honor of playing Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Piano Concerto with the Peabody Symphony Orchestra.
Some of his significant accomplishments as pianist include, a tour of Eastern Africa, sponsored by the United States Information Agency. One of the highlights of the tour was a solo performance for Madagascan television and radio. He has performed as soloist with several orchestras including, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Baltimore Concert Artists, Johns Hopkins Symphony Orchestra, Georgetown University Orchestra, and the Millbrook Orchestra in Shepardstown, West Virginia. In January, 2006 he performed Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall to wide acclaim.
Dr. Conway is also sought after as a collaborative artist. He has worked with several leading artists including Trevor Wye, Hillary Hahn, Daniel Heifetz, William Brown, Janice Chandler, to name a few. He is also an orchestral pianist for the Baltimore Symphony. In 1994 and 1997, he toured with the orchestra to Eastern Asia.
Dr. Conway’s choral accomplishments include working closely with some of the greatest conductors of the 20th Century including Robert Shaw, Sir Nevelle Mariner, and Donald Neuen. In 2001, he was chorusmaster for the Baltimore Symphony Chorus’ performance of the Verdi Requiem. He travels around the mid-Atlantic area giving Choral Master Classes and workshops for Collegiate and High School levels. In June of 2006, Dr. Conway was Chorusmaster for performances of Mahler Symphony #2, ending the tenure of Baltimore Symphony’s music director, Yuri Temirkanov.
Most recently, he conducted the forces of both the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Soulful Symphony in the Meyerhoff Hall’s Annual Martin Luther King Concert. In addition to his musical accomplishments, he holds degrees in both Accounting and Business Management and is also a Certified Public Accountant. Most recently, Conway has been appointed by Governor O’Malley as a member of the MD State Arts Council.
Dr. Conway is married to Bessie Elizabeth Conway, and they are blessed to have three sons, Eric, Jr.; Christopher; and Ryan.
About Classical Movements
The premier concert tour company for the world’s great orchestras and choirs, Classical Movements creates meaningful cultural experiences through music in 145 countries. An industry leader for over a quarter-century, Classical Movements organizes more than 60 tours every year, producing some 200 concerts every season. Producer of two international choral festivals—Ihlombe! in South Africa and Serenade! in Washington, D.C.—and the Prague Summer Nights: Young Artists Music Festival, in addition, Classical Movements’ Eric Daniel Helms New Music Program has commissioned over 70 works from Grammy, Oscar and Pulitzer Prize-winning composers. Winner of Americans for the Arts’ BCA10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts Award, since its founding in 1992, as a truly global company, Classical Movements remains committed to facilitating cultural diplomacy across the world—promoting peace through the medium of music.