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Soprano brings beauty to her church, students and the concert stage

A picture Lisa Edwards-Burrs with the Saint Stephen's Choir, circa 1998.
A picture Lisa Edwards-Burrs with the Saint Stephen's Choir, circa 1998.
Courtesy Photos

Whether it has been at church, school, a concert hall or out in the community, the soprano voice of Lisa Edwards-Burrs is one that has been admired by many. Burrs is an alumna of Washington, D. C.’s Catholic University of America, where she earned a Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance.

The Nu Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc will present soprano Lisa Edwards-Burrs in recital on Sunday, November 20.
Courtesy Photo

She continues to perform and teach at her alma mater, Virginia Commonwealth University and is an assistant professor of music at Virginia State University. An accomplished lyric-coloratura soprano, her performances in recital, oratorio and chamber music are extensive. Her operatic roles include: Athena in The Furies, Ola/Harriet Tubman in Vanqui, Blanche in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Monica in The Medium, Despina in Così fan tutti, among many others. Her voice has been described as “a voice of crystalline beauty.” After a performance of D. C. based composer Andrew Simpson’s wedding oratorio, A Crown of Stars, The Washington Post’s writer Joan Reithaler noted that Burrs “projected a light and appealing sound.”

Opera and recitals is what Burrs is known for, but she has never lost her connection to sacred music and the church. Recently, the soprano was honored by Richmond’s Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church, where she served as soprano soloist and section leader for more than twenty years. Her former music director at the church, Dr. Neal Campbell shared with the D. C. Performing Arts Examiner his experiences with working with Burrs when he served as organist/choirmaster at the Saint Stephen's Church

“I can tell that she immediately transformed our efforts with her artistry as a soloist, as a collaborative artist and choral singer, and with her magnetic personality, charm, and spirituality--all of which manifested itself in her natural unassuming presence. She radiated a undiluted joy in her work and in her relationships with us all. In no time our parishioners were requesting that she sing for their weddings and memorial services. She is the consummate professional and a great friend.” said Campbell. In addition to her academic posts and concertizing, she is now soprano soloist at Saint James’ Episcopal Church, also in Richmond, Virginia.

On Sunday, November 20 at 4:00 p.m., the Nu Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. will present soprano Lisa Edwards-Burrs in a full voice recital at Zion Baptist Church in Petersburg, Virginia. No stranger to the historic fraternity, Burrs’ grandfather, Morgan Edwards was a charter member of the Beta Gamma Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. at Virginia State University.

The recital is a part of the bi-annual scholarship recital series presented by the chapter. Ms. Burrs will be accompanied by the pianist Michael Simpson.

The church is located at 225 Byrne Street, Petersburg, VA.


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