Elizabeth City State University Concert Choir is fresh off of their yearly tour.
For 2015 the choral group took their talents to the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Under the direction of Dr. Walter Swan the choir performed at the likes of Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, Clef Jazz Club, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts; and many others.
Choir Member Jerome Burwell, An East Orange NJ Native, stated that he joined the concert choir because he had a passion for music and singing. When asked what he felt set their choir apart from other HBCU choirs, Burwell said “Besides our hard work, the dedication and the connection we have with one another sets us apart from other HBCU choirs. When we perform, we are able to feel each other and our director. Through this connection, God’s anointing is able to flow and reach others.”
Dr. Swan who has directed the choir for five years constructed the tour along with help of alumni, the tour is based on what they consider to be the best venues to perform at. “Each venue was an amazing experience from the historical perspective.” Swan said.
A moment students of the choir took away from the tour was meeting Civil Rights Activist Edith Savage-Jennings. Savage-Jennings, a Congressional Medal Honor Recipient, and First President of the Urban League Guild, sat down with the students for a personal conversation. Burwell stated “I felt that if she has made it this far and made such an impact there is nothing stopping me from making a positive impact as well.”
When asked what he felt his students would take away from the tour experience as performers and individuals, Dr. Swan said, “I would hope that they can a. Be inspired to become stronger informed individuals, b. Better understand of who they are and how they fit into the greater scheme of life within this world, c. Respect the opportunities presented to them and learn from each so as to pay it forward, d. And attract positive and self-motivated students to join the ranks at ECSU.”