Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Tuskegee University “Golden Voices” Concert Choir is steeped in more than a century of pride and the richest of choral traditions. Since its inception, the Tuskegee Choir has served as an artistic model while carving its place in American history. From the beginning, Tuskegee (Institute) University students were encouraged to express themselves in “communal singing.” Dr. Booker T. Washington, the school’s founder, insisted on the singing of Negro spirituals at weekly Chapel services. Dr. Washington told students, “If you go out to have schools of your own, have your pupils sing them as you have sung them here, and teach them to see the beauty which dwells in these songs.” Thus, Tuskegee developed and passed on a singing tradition. Wayne A. Barr is Director of Choral Activities at Tuskegee University. He earned degrees in church music and choral conducting from Westminster Choir College (B.M.), Southern Methodist University (M.M., M.S.M.), and The University of Michigan (D.M.A.). He has served as organist and choir director at churches in Alabama, Michigan, New Jersey and Texas. Before coming to Tuskegee University, Mr. Barr was Director of Music at the historic Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, and instructor of music at William Tyndale College in Farmington Hills, Michigan.