'Beyond the Spiritual' program set for Feb. 25 in Chapel

The Holmes Community College Concert Chorale will be collaborating with Phyllis Lewis-Hale and Karen Laubengayer, both of Jackson State University, to present "Beyond the Spritual" Black History Month Presentation tomorrow at Chapel on the Hill on the Goodman Campus of Holmes Community College.

The Concert Chorale will begin with a brief mini-concert.  Ms. Lewis-Hale and Dr. Laubengayer will follow as they present "Beyond the Spiritual," which will explore the non-spiritual art songs of select 20th Century African-American composers including Florence Prince, Camillie Nickerson, Betty Jackson King and Harrison Leslie Adams.

Lewis-Hale, a native of Jackson, is a lyric soprano in great demand. She has performed in Italy, Japan, Taiwan, Germany, Austria, Bermuda and throughout the United States. Some highlights in her career include receiving several awards, such as the recipient of the 2011 Mississippi Humanities Teacher and Scholar Award, the recipient of a HBCU-SAFRA Title III Project Grant in 2011 and 2012 from the University Scholars Center for Undergraduate Research, the winner of the IBLA Grand Prize in the International “Monteverdi/Bellini” Vocal Competition held in Italy, a winner in the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera Vocal Competition held in New York and the recipient of an Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Awards. Ms. Lewis-Hale recorded the “Songs of Separation” of William Grant Still for WGUC Radio in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is currently an Instructor of Music and the Director of the Opera /Musical Theatre Workshop at Jackson State University. She has served as a director of opera for various programs for the last twelve years. She has staged productions for Opera/South of Jackson, the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Ms. Lewis-Hale’s research interests include the preservation and popularization of the African-American non-spiritual art song, African-American operas and the Negro spiritual. She has presented lecture-recitals in venues across the country including the National Association of Teachers of Singing National Conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Super Regional Conference of the College Music Society held in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana, as well as, the College Music Society’s National Conferences held in Atlanta, Georgia and Portland, Oregon. She recently presented a lecture-recital focusing on the “Preservation of the African-American Art Song” at the National Association of African-American Studies National Conference which was held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Ms. Lewis-Hale received the Bachelor of Music Education degree from Jackson State University and the Master of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where is currently pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree.

Dr. Laubengayer, a pianist and professor of music at Jackson State University, has performed in Europe at the American Academy of the Arts in Verona, Italy and the L’Ecole Hindemith in Vevey, Switzerland. In the United States, she has performed at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC and the International Art Song Festival in Cleveland, OH. She has appeared as guest pianist with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, The St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra, the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra in Jackson, MS and the Meridian Symphony Orchestra in Meridian, MS. In addition she has presented lecture recitals on the National and International stage at the National Convention of the College Music Society in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Atlanta, Georgia and Portland, OR; The National Convention of NATS in Salt Lake City, UT; International Conferences at the University of London Institute of Education and at Churchill College, University of Cambridge, England. She has studied and coached with many renowned artists and pedagogues including Jane Allen, William Schatzkamer, Claudio Arrau, Dalton Ballwin, Warren Jones and Sandra Rivers. Dr. Laubengayer holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Stephens College in Columbia, MO and the Masters and Ph.D degrees from Washington University in St. Louis, MO.