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