Extending its rich tradition of spring concert tours, the Hampton University Concert Choir, under the direction of Maestro Royzell L. Dillard, performed its annual spring concert Monday, March 10 at Friendship Baptist Church in northwest Atlanta.
Presented by the Atlanta Chapter of the National Hampton Alumni Association, the concert featured a special tribute to Roland M. Carter, Ruth S. Holmberg Professor of Music at UTC and former Hampton University choir director.
Carter, a Hampton 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.
Carter also led the choirs in a successful tour of the Virgin Islands in 1975.
Carter is most celebrated for his arrangements of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and the spiritual “In Bright Mansions Above.” He is also known for his arrangement of the Langston Hughes’s poem “Hold Fast to Dreams.”
Proceeds from the concert benefited the efforts of the Atlanta Chapter of the National Hampton Alumni Association as well as the Hampton University Concert Choirs Scholarship Fund.
First known as the Hampton Singers, later the Hampton Institute Choir, and now the Hampton University Concert Choir, the Choir has 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.
It has performed with greats such as Andre Crouch, Barry Manilow, Marilyn Thompson, Harolyn Blackwell, George Shirley, William Warfield, Helen Baylor, Marvin Winans and Mervyn Warren.