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Denise Payton

Denise Payton  

Doctor of Education, Walden University
M.A. in Education, Fayetteville State University
B.A. in Vocal Performance, North Carolina A&T State University 

Dr. Denise Murchison Payton, is a native of Spring Lake, North Carolina and is known for her beautiful soprano voice as well as a spell binding presence when ministering in song.  The recent release of Songs in "D" Inspirational Songs of Faith displays her versatility. Classically trained, she has studied with Judith Pinnix Howell (NC), Sheila Carver (TX), Leroy Roberson, Dr. Samuel Barber, Phyllis Tektonidis (NC) and Christine Weidinger, formerly of the Metropolitan Opera Company.  

Denise is referred to as a dramatic soprano though in the recent project there is evidence of her deep abiding love in God and all that faith has to offer.  Ms. Payton has studied at North Carolina A&T State University, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Fayetteville State University, Boston University, and Walden University.  Dr. Payton performed regularly with the Long Leaf Opera Company.  She has performed frequently as a soprano soloist and in such operas as Susannah, Amahl and the Night Visitors, and in the world premiere of Strange Fruit, and Regina.  Internationally, Ms. Payton has performed  at  the American Church in Paris, France, St. Jacobs,  a 12th century church in Liege, Belgium, the  National Basicilia of Koekelberg, the fifth largest church in the world and  St. Giles Church in the canal city of Brugge, Belgium.  Denise is featured on the CD "What a Mighty God We Serve" recorded in Belgium. Ms. Payton has been a featured soloist with the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in British Columbia, Canada.  More recently, Ms. Payton was nominated for a Grammy Award in Music Education in 2014.

Before her current position as Director Choral Activities at Fayetteville State University, Dr. Payton spent thirty years directing choirs in the Richmond and Cumberland County Public Schools. Under her baton, the FSU Concert Choir made their debut with a Prelude Concert at the famed Carnegie Hall April 15, 2013.  Payton is also the founder of The Heritage Restoration Chorale an ecumenical group of singers from the Fayetteville, Cumberland County area specializing in the Negro Spiritual. She is often sought after as a vocal coach, clinician and lecturer/presenter for schools, churches and civic organizations. Denise is the Minister of Music and worship leader at Bethel A.M.E. Zion Church.  

Dr. Denise Murchison Payton
Choir Director

Office: Rosenthal Building, Room 105
Phone: 672-1457

A Constituent Institution of The University of North Carolina