The W. Crimm Singers (aka Wakanda Chorale) will present Wondrous Grace: Celebrating Five Years on Sunday, August 28th, 4pm, at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, Inc. 1109 32nd Ave. North. The concert will feature selections running the gammet of the African American sacred tradition rendered by rich, versatile voices and accomplished instrumentalists.
Patrick Dailey, native Nashvillian, renowned operatic countertenor and voice professor initially organized the group in July of 2018 for a Black Panther themed Freedom School program at Clark Memorial United Methodist Church at the request of Veteran opera singer, musician, and educator, William G. Crimm. What started as a pick-up choir of classically trained friends coming together one time has grown into a respected and formidable professional ensemble. Because of Mr. Crimm’s deep impact to so many in the community, the singers felt it most fitting to honor him as their namesake.
The W. Crimm Singers is professional ensemble-in-residence of the Big Blue Opera Initiatives at Tennessee State University. As “Wakanda” suggests, they wholly embrace the music of the Black experience throughout the diaspora and every genre connected to it. Major emphasis is placed on the Negro Spiritual, African American operatic and concert repertoire, hymnody, and anthems. The Crimm Singers boosts a roster of over 70 artists with opera and theater artists, grade school and collegiate educators, scholars, activists, civil servants, recording artists, session singers, and more are counted amongst its ranks. This aggregation is committed to providing professional opportunities to young artists for color from local HBCUs and PWIs.
In their time together, the “Wakanda Chorale”has recorded and performed with Louis York, Stars Go Dim, Intersection Contemporary Music Ensemble, Hannibal Lukombe, Rodrick Dixon, and been featured on 91Classical’s Live in Studio C and Bobby Jones Presents which is among the shows most requested and broadcast performances. In 2019, The group debuted in the Colour of Music Festival performing R. Nathaniel Dett’s The Chariot Jubilee under the baton of Dr. David Morrow and in 2020, presented Songs from the Heart of a Woman: The Vocal Music of Florence Price for the virtual International Florence Price Festival. Later that year, they were was featured in Black Youth Project’s Virtual Juneteenth Celebration. Members of the W. Crimm Singers were featured Handel’s Messiah with Early Music City and period orchestra in December 2021, marking the first all Black vocal cast performance of work in Nashville in over 25 years. They have been staples of the Harry T. Burleigh Spirituals Festival since 2018 and most recently, performed for the 54th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN.
Wondrous Grace, presented by the Big Blue Opera Initatives, is offered free to the Nashville community. Donations will be accepted in support of the artists. The concert will be recorded and streamed from the YouTube channel and Facebook page of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, Inc. For more information, follow @WCrimmSingers on Instagram and Twitter, and follow ‘W. Crimm Singers (aka Wakanda Chorale) on Facebook.