The “Negro Spiritual” Scholarship Foundation World Premiere Gala presented by Walt Disney World Resort is set for 6 p.m. Sat., March 3, 2018, in the Venetian Ballrooms of the Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort.
Featuring the premiere of new music from the “Negro Spiritual” genre for voice and piano, the World Premiere Gala is the annual event of the nonprofit “Negro Spiritual” Scholarship Foundation that operates Project Grady-Rayam to preserve a heritage within America’s musical legacy–the Negro spiritual song–and supports a future for young people who strive for a college education.
Performers for the World Premier Gala presented by Walt Disney World Resort will include featured vocalist (tenore) Tislam Swift in his Orlando debut to present a commissioned work by composer Damon H. Dandridge, and the 2018 student winners of the Grady-Rayam Prize (four singers) and Carl Maultsby Prize (two pianist awards).
A special “Let it Shine Challenge for Charitable Giving” will also be held during the formal evening, which includes a Prelude Reception starting at 6 p.m., followed by the song and piano award presentations to the winning students sponsored by Universal Orlando Resort at 7 p.m., with a formal dinner at 8 p.m. and Afterglow Reception at 9 p.m.
This year’s new music, the debut presentation of the spiritual “All Over God’s Heaven (I’ve Got a Robe)” by Damon H. Dandridge, was commissioned in memory of Darin Michael Whyland, a former “Negro Spiritual” Scholarship Foundation colleague who played a key role at the nonprofit.
For more information on the Gala including tickets and donations, go to www.gradyrayam.org