Rackham Choir is a community of interesting and talented individuals from all over the metro area who contribute to the group in a variety of ways. Throughout the year, we will be spotlighting some of those folks in this newsletter.
Today we feature Ayana Thomas, Soprano section leader and Board Secretary. Born and raised in Detroit, MI, Ayana began showing exceptional musical talent at the age of four.
Throughout her early years Ayana played clarinet in concert and high chool marching bands, and participated in solo and jazz ensembles, which led her to Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA, where she stood out as a vocal music major and became a member of Mu Phi Epsilon Professional Music Fraternity. Ayana’s vocal style ranges from smooth jazz, to riveting classical tones and soul-stirring gospel. She has facilitated vocal workshops with famed gospel music producer Derrick Starks, and has lent her vocal talents to recording sessions and performances with Marvin Winans, Vickie Winans, Lexi, William Murphy III, and Marvin Thompson Jr. just to name a few. Ayana also recorded with Grammy-nominated female gospel group, Witness. She is currently a performing artist, vocal music instructor at Cornerstone Jefferson-Douglas Academy in Detroit, MI and Assistant Director of Worship & Arts at Bethel AME Church in Ann Arbor, MI. Ayana has also appeared as a soloist with Rackham Choir, most recently last spring in our Sprituals at the Cathedral concert at Christ Church Cranbrook. You can hear Ayana and the rest of Rackham Choir throughout the rest of our season, including these performances:
Saturday, February 25, 6:00 p.m.: Songs of Freedom
Join Rackham Choir, William S. Harrison Chorale, Cody High School Women’s Ensemble, Rooted, and the Songs of Freedom Orchestra, under the baton of William S. Harrison, Sr. to celebrate Black History Month with a sacred symphonic choral concert featuring Sacred Music of African American composers. Performed at the Basilica of Ste. Anne de Detroit, 1000 Ste. Anne Street, Detroit, MI 48216. This event is sponsored by the Office of Black Catholic Ministry, Archdiocese of Detroit. There is NO CHARGE to attend.
Monday, April 17, 7:30 p.m.: Carmina Burana
In collaboration with Wayne State University Music Department, Orchestra Hall 3711 Woodward Avenue, Detroit 48201. Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased here.
Saturday, May 27: Voices of Tomorrow
This year’s High School Vocal Intern Program Showcase at First Presbyterian Church of Royal Oak will feature Rackham Choir’s four intern students this season: Chloe Debulois, Farmington High School, Brendan Lockhart, Waterford Mott High, Baleigh Smith, Detroit School of Arts and Anna Schultz, Cranbrook High School. You will see more about these young singers in the coming newsletters.