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Proviso West Choir Sings Praises with Fisk University Chorus

November 1, 2013 08:35 AM
Choir students from Proviso West High School got a taste of what performing in college could be like when the Fisk University Chorus visited Proviso West High School on Friday, October 18.

The choir from Fisk University, a historically black college located in Nashville, Tennessee, performed a series of gospel choruses for the students in the Proviso West Little Theater, with the Proviso West Concert Choir joining them for the last two songs. Dr. Christopher Duke, music director at Fisk, said that in the seven years that the college’s chorus has been visiting Proviso West, two students – one each from Proviso East and Proviso West – have eventually attended Fisk. Several students from Proviso East attended the morning concerts as well.
"This is one of our most successful recruitment places," Dr. Duke said. "This is a good venue for us."

FiskU-Chorus-2013-2-smThe visit was spurred in part by Mrs. Salina Watson, Proviso West choral director. Mrs. Watson said that the visits came after a former Proviso West choir student and madrigal singer, Ms. Kawana Williams (Class of 2001), had contacted her about the Fisk alumni chapter in Chicago and that the university chorus was doing a Chicago choir tour.

"It was good for my students to benefit from the musical expertise of a college professor in the field of music," Mrs. Watson said. "Many of the techniques and things that he mentioned and practices with them supported and reinforced what I already do with the students in class."
Members of the Fisk University Chorus said that the visit to Proviso West has been a joy.

FiskU-Chorus-2013-3-sm"Every time I come here, they make me feel welcome," said Ms. Keondra Lewis, a Fisk University senior from Houston, Texas, who was making her fourth visit to Proviso West. "It’s a show where everyone comes together."

Mr. Oscar Hawthorne, principal at Proviso West, told the students that he had been part of a traveling choir while attending Kentucky State University, another historically black university, and that they could have similar experiences.

"It is an experience that you won’t soon forget," Mr. Hawthorne said. "Whatever your path, know that we’re here to support you."

Gilrieana Lee, a sophomore at Proviso East who attended the performance, said that she felt encouraged to keep singing when she goes to college.

"It’s really inspiring," Gilrieana said. "They’re outgoing. They encouraged me to be involved."
Thank you, Fisk University, for your continued support of our students!"
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