Denison's Gospel Choir Performs at Ohio Village Under Direction of Alumnus Raymond Wise '83
Posted: October 17, 2001
GRANVILLE - The 115 voices of the Denison University Gospel Choir will present "A Concert of Gospel Music and Spirituals" at 7 p.m. on Wednesday (Oct. 24) at the Ohio Historical Society's Ohio Village Church in Columbus.
The Denison University Gospel Choir with Director Raymond Wise '83.
Directed by Raymond Wise, a 1983 graduate of Denison, the Choir's program provides an evening of entertainment for the Denison alumni clubs of Columbus and Licking Country. This Denison alumni club event is also open to the public at a cost of $5 per person. Please call the Denison Office of Alumni Affairs at (740) 587-6481 to make reservations. The concert will be followed by a reception at the Colonel Crawford Inn, a short walk from the church.
Titles included in the program are "I Opened My Mouth To The Lord," "How Majestic Is Your Name" and a new arrangement of "To Denison."
A unique setting for the concert, Ohio Village is a reconstructed rural community set on 15 acres of pastureland and represents a typical county seat of the 1860s. The church serves as an important addition to the Ohio Historical Society 's interpretation of the Civil War era of Ohio Village. Coordinating the event are Denison Columbus alumni club leaders Jill Stemen Tangeman '93, James Benseler '91 and Joe Leithauser '90.
Formed in the spring of 2000, the Denison Gospel Choir has established a versatile repertoire and presents a varied concert of spirituals, traditional and contemporary gospel music each semester. This multi-cultural group is comprised of students, faculty, staff and Granville community members of many races and nationalities. While a few student members are music majors, the majority are non-music majors who represent various academic majors and class levels. All students are enrolled in an African-American Gospel Music and Spirituals course taught by Wise in which they receive training in the performance and historical development of African-American Gospel.
The Denison Gospel Choir's successes have brought them invitations to sing for various church and civic events throughout the Central Ohio area. The group is also making plans for a performance in Portugal. A work for Gospel Choir and orchestra titled "Declaration of Joy" was especially written for this group by renowned flutist and composer, Leslie Burrs.
Wise is the founder and president of Raise Productions, a gospel music production company in Columbus. He serves as an affiliated instructor in the Department of Music at Denison as well as teaching at Ohio State University and Columbus School for Girls.
Wise has composed more than 490 works and wrote the musical score for "Barefoot," an opera based upon a children's book about the Underground Railroad. He served as musical director for the production by The Children's Theater Board of Winston Salem (N.C.), with narration by Maya Angelou.
During his undergraduate years at Denison, Wise reorganized the Black Student Union Choir and started the Black Student Union Ensemble and Dance Company. He has studied at the Institute for European Studies in Vienna and at San Francisco State University. He serves as associate minister and choir director at Faith Ministries Interdenominational Church in Columbus.
Wise and his wife Dawnne are the parents of Ryan Alexander Wise, born in September of 2000.
For press inquiries:
- Barbara Stambaugh
- Position Title
- Director, Media Relations
- Primary Email
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- (740) 587-8575