Illustrious vocalist to present patriotic program

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Illustrious vocalist to present patriotic program

Denyce Graves has performed internationally on four continents. Photo: Submitted

World-renowned vocal star Denyce Graves will take the stage in the Founder’s Memorial Amphitorium on Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. for the first Concert, Opera and Drama Series program of the year.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “If the human voice has the power to move you, you will be touched by Denyce Graves.”

After receiving her high school diploma from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Graves studied voice at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the New England Conservatory.

Graves made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1995 and has appeared at many opera houses and other venues throughout her extensive career.

Dr. Darren Lawson, the dean of the School of Fine Arts and Communication, said the program will feature both patriotic and sacred songs.

“It’s a very eclectic program that focuses on our country and being an American,” Lawson said.

Lawson said the concert will be a speical opportunity to hear one of the world’s greatest vocalists.

“She has performed literally all over the world,” Lawson said. “The fact that she is coming here is an opportunity for students to hear something that folks in Paris and London and literally all over the world are paying to go see, and our students get to see it for free.”

He said that it will be an experience that will grow and shape the students. He also said he believes students will appreciate the experience.

“Often students don’t realize the positive impact that these [Concert, Opera and Drama Series] events are having on them until they have graduated and are not experiencing multiple events,” Lawson said.

Lawson said Concert, Opera and Drama Series events are an essential component of the BJU education.

“It’s a gift even though you may not realize it as such right now,” Lawson said.

Lawson also expressed excitement for upcoming Concert, Opera and Drama series events.

William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing will be performed next month, followed by the musical A Christmas Carol in December.

In February, “Piano Battle” will feature two piano players, one who plays in a more traditional style and one who plays in a more flamboyant style, “battling” against each other and interacting with the audience.

The opera, Lucia di Lammermoor, will be performed in February and March, followed by the Living Gallery at the end of March.

“It’s really a unique year,” Lawson said.