The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Music Department in conjunction with UTC’s Chancellor’s Office and Development office will present a Gala Concert celebrating Roland Carter’s career and honoring his retirement on Friday, April 19th, at 7:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church at 401 Gateway Avenue in Chattanooga.

Roland Carter

Roland Carter

Featured performances will be by soprano Gayle Robinson-Oturo, UTC’s Men’s Chorus, Chamber Singers and Chattanooga Singers. Also featured are special performances by Hampton University Concert Choir, Morehouse College Men’s Glee Club, and the Chattanooga Choral Society for the Preservation of African-American Song.

Advanced tickets will be sold through the UTC Fine Arts Box Office at UTC’s Fine Arts Center for $5.  Tickets will also be sold at the door for $10. Note:  due to limited availability, it is strongly recommended tickets be purchased in advance.

Composer, arranger, conductor, pianist, scholar, researcher, and teacher are some of the roles of UTC Holmberg Professor of American Music Roland M. Carter. During his 23-year tenure at The University of Tennessee Chattanooga, Carter has conducted choirs, taught classes, accompanied recitals, arranged music, funded concerts, fostered inter-departmental productions, chaired the department, mentored and recruited students, and promoted affirmative action while at all times retaining the demeanor of a true professional. He is an advocate for the great musical traditions of the African-American heritage and is most celebrated for his arrangements of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and the spiritual “In Bright Mansions Above,” as well as for his arrangement of the Langston Hughes’s poem “Hold Fast to Dreams.”

Dr. Gail Robinson-Oturu, Soprano, is an active performing artist and sings primarily as a recitalist. Her voice has been heard on local, regional, national, and international stages. As an educator, Robinson-Oturu’s primary academic home was Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Florida, where she served twenty-one years as Coordinator of Vocal Studies and Director of the Opera Workshop. The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) in Washington, DC named her the 1988 Florida Professor of the Year and honored her as a silver medalist on the national level.  Robinson-Oturu continues to provide active leadership to community and professional organizations. She is the National Vice President of Conventions of the National Opera Association and is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Robinson-Oturu served as a national Fraternity Director of Sigma Alpha Iota, International Music Fraternity and is an associate of the Negro Spiritual Scholarship Foundation, where she was a charter Board member.  A native of Washington, D.C., Robinson-Oturu earned the Bachelor and Master of Music Education (Vocal Emphasis) from Howard University and the Doctor of Philosophy from New York University.

The Morehouse College Glee Club, of which Roland Carter is an honorary member, celebrated its 100th year of its musical legacy in 2011. The Glee Club has performed with singers Jessye Norman, Natalie Cole, Denyce Graves, Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan and Trisha Yearwood at events such as the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 1996 Olympic Games, Super Bowl XXVIII, and events leading to the dedication of the King Monument on the National Mall. They have also recorded pieces for several films and performed internationally. It has continued in this tradition through the dedication and commitment of its members, who come from all divisions of The College, and the leadership that its directors have provided throughout the years. Through its tradition, the Glee Club has an impressive history and seeks to secure its future through even greater accomplishments.  The Glee Club has been directed by Dr. David E. Morrow since 1993.

Carter, a Hampton University alumnus, led the choirs as Director for 22 years. Under Carter’s baton, the choir premiered the works of Duke Ellington, Julius Williams, Noel Da Costa, Adolphus Hailstork, Reginald Parker, Robert Wooten, Sr., and Robert Winder. First known as the Hampton Singers, later the Hampton Institute Choir, and now the Hampton University Concert Choir, they have had the distinction of performing in some of the world’s most beloved concert halls, churches, and cathedrals, including Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Avery-Fischer Hall, Chrysler Hall, Westminster Abbey, and Constitution Hall. The Choir has performed for presidential and gubernatorial inaugurations, for US Presidents and several other political dignitaries. Several distinguished musicians have served in the capacity of conductor of The Hampton Choir. Robert Nathaniel Dett was the first African-American conductor to lead the choir to Europe, performing for mass audiences as well as royalty. Under the baton of Roland M. Carter, the choir toured the Virgin Islands and was featured at the American Choral Directors Association’s Bicentennial Celebration at Interlochen, Michigan. The choir is currently under the baton of Omar J. Dickenson.

The Chattanooga Choral Society for the Preservation of African American Song is a group formed by Roland Carter for the purpose of preserving the rich heritage of African American songs with special emphasis on the Negro spirituals. This diverse group is comprised of approximately 45 members with different professional backgrounds including students, professors, professional musicians, and others that all share a love of music and a desire to perform it with an emphasis on quality. The CCS is directed by Wilma LeSure and Michael Mitchell.

Join us and celebrate Professor Carter’s career at a Gala concert honoring his retirement. A scholarship fund is being established in his name. Online contributions can be made through https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1341/utc/campaign.aspx?sid=1341&gid=3&pgid=1012&cid=1955.
Additionally, a chance to contribute to the fund will occur at the concert.

For more information regarding this or any other UTC Music Dept. performance, please call the Music office at 423-425-4601 or, visit the Music Dept. website at http://www.utc.edu/Academic/Music/Events.php

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