ISYM Black Chorus

June 24 - 30, 2018

For students completing grades 8-12

Designed for all senior high vocalists, this program focuses on strengthening musicianship and acquiring individual artistry by exploring the unique treatment of the elements of vocal music by Black Americans in a choral setting. Students are exposed to a wide range of repertoire, including spirituals, hymns, anthems, gospel, jazz, pop, hip hop, soul and R&B, and develop skills for the practice and performance of the vocal music of Black Americans. Classes include full ensemble and sectional rehearsals, masterclasses, group voice lessons, conducting/directing, and musicianship.

Here is what a typical day in the Pre-College Black Chorus program will look like:

  • 8:00- 8:40 am:  Sectionals
  • 8:45- 10:00 am: Full Rehearsal
  • 10:45-11:45:  Choral Electives
  • Noon- 1:00: lunch
  • 1:15- 2:10 pm:  Ensemble Rehearsal
  • 2:00- 3:35 pm:  Full Rehearsal
  • 3:45-4:45 pm: Electives
  • 5:15 pm: Dinner and evening activities
  • 10:30 pm- lights out

Click Here for Program Costs.

Program Faculty Artist:
Dr. Ollie Watts Davis, University of Illinois


Since making her New York debut at Carnegie Hall in 1990, soprano Ollie Watts Davis has appeared with many leading symphony orchestras, including those in San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Houston, Dallas, and Milwaukee. Her international activities include a performances of Mozart's C Minor Mass on tour with Orquesta Sinfonica Simon Bolivar of Caracas, Venezuela; performances at the celebration of the founding of the Pakistani American Cultural Center in Karachi; concerts in the Canary Islands with the Chicago Sinfonietta; recitals on the University Artists Concert Series in San Jose, Costa Rica; and performances of Handel's Messiah with the Orquestra Sinfonica de Asturias in Oviedo, Spain. Professor Davis' extensive concert credits include the Mozart Requiem, the role of Salud in Falla's La Vida Breve, Bach's B Minor Mass and St. Matthew Passion, Handel's Messiah and Judas Maccabeus, Mahler's Symphony No 2 and Symphony No 4, Gorecki's Symphony No 3, Honegger's Le Roi David, Strauss' Vier Letzte Lieder, Orff's Carmina Burana and Poulenc's Gloria. She has also performed in roles with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Opera Theatre of Springfield. Professor Davis appeared on the West Virginia Arts and Letters Series at the Governor's Mansion and as the guest artist for the Governor's Inaugural Ceremony. 

Listen to Dr. Ollie Watts Davis perform with the University of Illinois Black Chorus

Read more about Professor Davis.