Fayetteville State University Concert Choir celebrates 140th year with the gift of song

Concert Choir

Fresh from a performance at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, the Fayetteville State University Concert Choir returned home to prepare for and present a soul-stirring production to celebrate the group’s 140th anniversary.

Dr. Denise Murchison Payton

Dr. Denise Murchison Payton, the director for the past 15 years, brought together current students and alumni for “The Lantern Still Shines “ on Sunday afternoon, April 30, in Seabrook Auditorium. “The joy of music is my strength,” she said.

The program was divided into two parts. The first included works, from classic to contemporary, such as “The Last Words of David,” “Beautiful City,” “I Know I Been Changed,” and “I Got A Song.”

The second part was “The Cry of Jeremiah,” a four-movement work based on the 20th chapter of Jeremiah, in which the Biblical prophet experiences ridicule and imprisonment because of his prophecies as he laments his present state. The Choir presented “The Cry of Jeremiah” on Easter Sunday at Carnegie Hall.

The finale, which brought the audience to its feet and clapping, was “That’s How The Lord Works,” by Kanye West.

The Choir was accompanied on piano by Dr. Amanda Virelles, interim chair for the Department of Performing and Fine Arts. Mr. Adrian T. Williams, a former Choir member, was the emcee for the event. Dr. Duane Hodges also spoke during the program.

Dr. Payton announced that a Wall of Conductors, commemorating the directors during the Choir’s rich history, will be unveiled in the Rosenthal Building at this year’s Homecoming Week.

Videos of event: