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Texas Southern University Choir to Perform in the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation's 2020 Celebration

Texas Southern University Choir to Perform in the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation
Posted By: Reggie Culpepper on October 16, 2020

The Texas Southern University Choir will participate in the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation’s 2020 A Celebration of Reading event on KPRC 2 on Saturday, October 17. TSU Choir members will perform background vocals for Houston-based R&B singer and songwriter Mary Griffin. Traditionally, this large-scale annual event would bring well known Texans from across the state to the Hobby Center. Guests would gather to listen to book excerpts and enjoy performances from celebrated musical artists. Due to the ongoing pandemic, this year’s event will be televised.

After notification of the opportunity by KTSU 90.9 FM General Manager Ernest Walker, the University Choir recorded background vocals arranged by the choir’s director Dr. Kiana Day Williams, in KTSU Studios. Dr. Williams said the students’ awareness that they were asked to participate excites them, and the invitation validates their hard work and dedication. “The students are always excited to hear when we have received an invitation outside of TSU,” said Williams, “They get really excited when they know other choirs could have been selected.”

“We really owe thanks to Mr. Ernest Walker for being the person who always wants to put TSU forward,” said Williams, “He’s a big advocate for the music department, striving to get us to record and show people the good things we are doing in the department.” Williams thinks it was beneficial for the students to get experience in studio etiquette, amongst other things.

“From my perspective of being in the industry for 30 years, I want to be able to create and give more opportunities to TSU students to see things from a different perspective,” said Walker, “the students have the skillset and talent, they just have to be exposed to the opportunities.

Many of Williams’ choir members are music majors and have aspirations of becoming recording artists.



“I am so glad to see opportunities like this being presented to us because I believe that it is due in part to the hard work and dedication the students put in,” said Williams, “It made my week being able to watch them glow walking into the studio.”

One week later, the students recorded the video for the performance with R&B singer and songwriter Mary Griffin at Queensbury Theatre in West Houston. Williams said the recording process was a great experience for the students, and they are still speaking about it. They were able to meet and greet with Griffin after she insisted they share a green room. Between recordings, students were able to sing for her and get tips and feedback.

When it was time to record on the stage and under the lights, Williams said the students’ energy and stage presence went through the roof, “So many of them turned it on. I saw performance etiquette and stage presence that I have never seen before.”

“They are excited; I am excited. I cannot wait for everyone to see the performance on Saturday,” said Williams. Tune in to KPRC 2 at 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 17, 2020, to view the TSU Choir’s stellar performance.


ABOUT TEXAS SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY
Texas Southern University (TSU) honors our designation as a special-purpose institution for urban programming and research. TSU is a comprehensive university providing higher education access to the nation’s underserved communities. TSU’s academic and research programs address critical urban issues, and prepares its diverse student population to become a force for positive change in a global society. TSU offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs and concentrations – bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees – organized into 10 colleges and schools on a 150-acre campus nestled in the heart of Houston’s historic Third Ward. The University’s enrollment has a population of more than 9,000 undergraduate and graduate-school academic candidates. Texas Southern has been a distinguished educational pioneer since 1927, and the University has become one of the most diverse and respected institutions in Texas. TSU has positioned itself as a proactive leader in educating underserved students and many who are the first in their family to attend college.

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