Oakwood University (AL) Aeolians Choir performs in Moscow, Russia, as the sole U.S. performers in the Second International Moscow Christmas Festival of Sacred Music, January 2012, Jason Max Ferdinand, director
Huntsville, AL (BlackNews.com) — The Aeolians Choir of Oakwood University (www.oakwood.edu) has been invited to, and will compete in the 7thWorld Choir Games – the world’s largest international choral competition. It was announced by INTERKULTUR, the International Organizing Committee of the World Choir Games (www.2012worldchoirgames.com) in Cincinnati, Ohio, July 11-13.
The Aeolians will serve as the only Seventh-day Adventist and/or the only Alabama choir to participate in this biennial event, known as the “Olympics of choral music.”
Black-on-Black . . . love? HBCU Wilberforce University’s Jeremy Winston Chorale will also compete. Chorale director Jeremy Winston is a former Oakwood Aeolian, choir-mate and very good friend of current Aeolians director, Jason Max Ferdinand.
Hmmm., . . . a first-time, head-to-head duel of former Oakwood Aeolians-turned-HBCU-choral-directors . . . battling now on the world stage?
According to Ferdinand the Oakwood choristers, the 2010 and 2011 national HBCU choir champions and, more recently, the sole U.S. performers in the seven-day Second International Moscow Christmas Festival of Sacred Music in Russia in January, will compete in three categories: Contemporary Music, Music of Religions and Negro Spirituals.
“This also marks the first time ever the World Choir Games will be held in North America; previous venues were Austria, China, South Korea and Germany.”
The World Choir Games takes place every two years. Approximately 20,000 participants, including 400 choirs from 70 countries, are expected to attend the 2012 Games. There will be competition in 23 musical categories, including Barbershop and Show Choirs, which have been added for the first time because of their popularity in the United States.
This first-ever World Choir Games invitation/competition for Oakwood University caps an unprecedented 2011-2012 school year for this 115-year old United Negro College Fund school, namely:
1. Newly-inaugurated 11th president, Dr. Leslie N. Pollard, is OU’s first leader with both ministerial and academic doctorates – and an MBA, http://www.atoday.org/article/1104/news/april-headlines/weekend-feature-oakwood-s-new-president-after-one-year; therefore and as a result
2. OU is the first and only HBCU and Alabama school that’s ISO-certified, http://www.oakwood.edu/news/1604-oakwood-university-a-pioneer-with-iso-9001-certification; and
3. Alumni and friends now raising more monies, http://www.oakwood.edu/news/1601-oakwood-university-raising-funds-for-generator;
4. Through establishing its new Center for Adventist-Muslim Relations at OU (CAMROU), OU’s reaching out now to the world’s 1 billion Muslims, http://www.oakwood.edu/news/1597-oakwood-university-opens-adventist-muslim-center, as well as through its Consortium of Adventist African Universities and Partners (CAAUP), bringing together for the first time all Seventh-day Adventist colleges and universities from the African Diaspora, http://www.oakwood.edu/images/zfiles/administration/Presidents-FYI/Presidents%20FYI%20Issue%207%20-%20February%202012.pdf;
5. Served as the Tom Joyner Foundation’s November 2011, “HBCU of the Month,” http://www.oakwood.edu/news/news-archives/242-2011-news/1476-ou-selected-to-be-the-november-2011-hbcu-of-the-month;
6. Creating more HBCU grads, http://www.oakwood.edu/news/1606-us-news-oakwood-makes-list-of-top-graduation-hbcus and, according to UNCF CEO Michael Lomax, Oakwood possesses the highest black male enrollment (41%) of all UNCF schools, http://www.atoday.org/article/1150/news/april-headlines/oakwood-university-to-seek-an-enrollment-of-3-500;
7. Oakwood University, “the Julliard of the South,” has produced not only a repeating national choral champion, http://www.oakwood.edu/news/news-archives/242-2011-news/1533-aeolians-repeat-as-national-hbcu-champions, but this small school has produced many of the professional musical artists the world has come to enjoy, http://www.oakwood.edu/news/1566-aeolians-in-professional-music;
8. In fact and with the Aeolians Choir (choral), this year Oakwood University is the home of three national champions – men’s basketball (athletic), http://www.blacknews.com/news/oakwood_university_mens_basketball_team_championship101.shtml and the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge runners-up (academic), http://www.oakwood.edu/news/1639-morgan-state-university-edges-out-oakwood-to-win-national-honda-academic-championship-of-hbcus – all with no music/choral, athletic or academic scholarships;
9. OU received a whopping 98.9% preliminary report from its decennial Southern Association of Colleges and Schools reaccreditation visit, http://www.oakwood.edu/news/1641-sacs-visit-a-preliminary-report and http://www.atoday.org/article/1150/news/april-headlines/oakwood-university-to-seek-an-enrollment-of-3-500, and finally
10. Oakwood’s LEAP adult degree completion program offers dirt-cheap private-school tuition ($269/credit hour) as well as extends to former “Oakwoodites” tuition amnesty, following the Holy Bible’s Deuteronomy 15:1, http://www.atoday.org/article/1150/news/april-headlines/oakwood-university-to-seek-an-enrollment-of-3-500 – what no financial institution or credit card will ever do!
VIDEO: See and hear Aeolians director Jason Max Ferdinand and music department chair (and former Aeolian chorister and director) Dr. Wayne Bucknor discuss the World Choir Games, “Aeolians 101” and “What is ‘the Oakwood Sound’?” at www.youtube.com/oakwooduniversityhsv.