The Concert Chorale of Bethune-Cookman University has been a sprang-board for many musical talents over the years (started by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune in 1904) and has become known as an “Ambassador of Good Will” that has travelled more than half a million miles and visited five foreign countries. Dr. Orville Lawton was once a member of the chorale group at Bethune-Cookman and now the internationally acclaimed Ebony Chorale is under his directorship.
On March 29, 2014, at the BAK Middle School of the Arts, the community of Palm Beach County will have an opportunity to hear the highly praised Bethune-Cookman Concert Chorale under the direction of Mr. Damon Dandridge along with Dr. Orville Lawton’s Ebony Chorale for an evening of musical enthrallment (event will begin at 6:00 p.m. and tickets are $15.00; for tickets and more information, call 561-601-6925).
Bethune-Cookman University, or simply B-CC (as it was formerly called) or B-CU, is a private historically black university in Daytona Beach, Florida, United States. White Hall has been added to the US National Register of Historic Places. Mary McLeod Bethune founded the Daytona Educational and Industrial Training School in 1904. The school underwent several stages of growth and development through the years and in 1923, it merged with the Cookman Institute of Jacksonville, Florida and became a co-ed high school. A year later in 1924, it became affiliated with the Methodist Church. By 1931, the school had become a junior college.
The school became a four-year college in 1941 when the Florida Board of Education approved a 4-year baccalaureate program in Liberal Arts and Teacher Education. The name was changed to Bethune-Cookman College. On February 14, 2007, the Board of Trustees approved the name Bethune-Cookman University after the institution established its first graduate program.
The Ebony Chorale is made up of singers, mostly non-professional talent, who dedicate their time to striving for excellence in the performance of choral music. They sing for the joy and the love of music. Founded and directed by the gifted and accomplished Dr. Orville T. Lawton, The Ebony Chorale debuted in 1992, performing with the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra.
In July 2010, the Chorale traveled to Salzburg, Austria. The group participated in the Heritage Festival of Negro Spirituals in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Chorale recently returned from a singing tour in Prague, the Czech Republic, Vienna, Austria and Bratislava, Slovakia in July, 2013. A trip to Cape Town, South Africa is planned for 2015. To date, the Chorale has given over 300 performances throughout the state of Florida, as well as in Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Michigan.
See list below on Music
(About the Author: Teresa Harry Myers, 1971 Graduate of Bethune-Cookman College, Business Education, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority)
REF: SDPBC (Press Release) Public Affairs Office, Mar. 2014
What is the origin of 'Music soothes the savage beast'?
The actual phrase in modern English is:
"Music has Charms to soothe a savage Breast"
The phrase was coined by the Playwright/Poet William Congreve, in The mourning bride, 1697:
ACT I. SCENE I.
A Room of State. -
The Curtain rising slowly to soft Music, discovers ALMERIA in Mourning, LEONORA waiting in Mourning. -
After the Music ALMERIA rises from her Chair, and comes forward. -
ALM. Music has Charms to sooth a savage Breast,
To soften Rocks, or bend a knotted Oak.
I've read, that things inanimate have mov'd,
And, as with living Souls, have been inform'd,
By Magic Numbers and persuasive Sound.
What then am I? Am I more senseless grown
Than Trees, or Flint? O force of constant Woe!
'Tis not in Harmony to calm my Griefs.
Anselmo sleeps, and is at Peace; last Night
The silent Tomb receiv'd the good Old King;
He and his Sorrows now are safely lodg'd
Within its cold, but hospitable Bosom.
Why am not I at Peace?
Excellence is manifest through Music
In all genres of music, some individuals have reached heights that far exceed the imagination. Whether it is classical, contemporary, country, jazz, rhythm & blues, rock, rap, hip hop and whatever comes next . . . music has an enthralling charm and when someone that is naturally talented and pursues a dream of making music to the world, then their individual goals manifest themselves as their music cast its spell on society. Music is in the hands of the artist as to how the artist reveals the music, but how we receive the artist’s music is up to us---the WHOLE of society; like Mozart and Beethoven, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Nancy Kline, Johnny Cash Mahalia Jackson, Perry Como and Nat King Cole, Whitney Houston, Biggie Small, Tupac-----These are some of the musics of excellence by artist that will never be non-existent, never be old but marveled for their performances of excellence. Beauty is in the ear of the listener.
As part of its goal of keeping alive an awareness of the African American heritage, the Ebony Chorale is dedicated to the preservation and performance of the Negro Spiritual, a song that grew out of the African American slavery experience.
Through its performances of the spirituals, the Chorale seeks to raise, as well as reaffirm, the great tradition and contribution made to American music by African Americans.
The lyrics of the spirituals not only represent religious ideals, but also carry several layers of social, political, and theological meanings.