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3-26-14 - Oakwood Choir to Latvia to compete, defend world title
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Easter Eve Concert with legends Richard Smallwood and Angela Brown to raise funds for July contests

 
 
Aeolians Choir sound checks (with director Jason Max Ferdinand in the foreground) "Daniel, Servant of the Lord" for the 2012 World Choir Games' Spiritual category competition, for which the choristers won the World Championship.  
This July, with fortissimo – and raising $115,000 of the needed $225,000 – Oakwood University and Adventism aims to send its top performers to the 2014 Olympics.
 
Not to Sochi, Russia, but Riga, Latvia.
 
Not with Alpine skiers, but with altos and sopranos.
 
No two-man bobsledding, but baritone- ing and trademark eight-part harmonizing.
 
Oakwood’s world-ranked Aeolians Choir, the three-time gold medalists and world spirituals champions from the 2012 World Choir Games – the largest international choral competition, referred to as the “choral Olympics” – will defend its title in the biennial July competition.
 
“If the 2012 contests are any indication – featuring15,000 choristers, comprising 362 choirs, representing 64 countries and 22 U.S. states, competing in 23 different musical categories! – then our 45 Aeolians will serve as the only ambassadors for the State of Alabama, Seventh-day Adventism, and the 105 historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs),” explained global tour manager, Vilroy R. McBean. “Again, we thank God for this witnessing platform – now, we just need to raise our portion, $115,000, to represent these our overlapping communities.”

Currently, the Oakwood choristers are the 2011,2012 and 2013 national HBCU choral champions; additionally, the choir is world-ranked overall at #22 (of 1,000 internationally-ranked choirs), and #2-ranked in the pop/jazz/gospel/spiritual category,

The April 19 Easter Eve Benefit Concert in Huntsville, featuring gospel legend Richard Smallwood and Metropolitan Opera diva/former Aeolian Angela Brown, according to director Jason Max Ferdinand, “will serve two purposes: we will raise needed funds for this historic Latvian trip and our title defense, but Mr. Smallwood and our own Angela Brown will ‘tune up’ our singers – 22 of whom are newbies this school year! – to return to world-stage championship fitness.”

In its first-ever international competition at the 2012 World Choir Games in Cincinnati, the Aeolians competed and won gold medals in its three categories: Music of Religions, Musica Contemporanea and new offering Spiritual, for which it also won the coveted world championship.
 
For the 2014 international contest, Ferdinand confirmed, the Aeolians will compete in the Gospel, Mixed Chamber Choir, Music of Faith and Negro Spirituals categories.

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Photos and story by Tim Allston, director of business development and public relations, 5 Star Consulting Services.
 
North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600 USA
Telephone: 301-680-6400
Fax: 301-680-6464
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