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Wise to direct IU’s African-American Choral Ensemble

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Raymond Wise, a gospel music performer for more than three decades and an accomplished composer, will join the African-American Arts Institute at Indiana University as director of the African-American Choral Ensemble.

Wise has been appointed to a two-year position as a visiting faculty member in African-American and African Diaspora Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, where he will teach new courses in addition to directing the Choral Ensemble.

Since its founding in 1975, the IU African-American Choral Ensemble has been devoted to performing the rich and varied traditions of African-American choral music. It is one of three performing arts ensembles at the African-American Arts Institute, which strives to promote and preserve African-American culture through performance, education, creative activity, research and outreach.

A native of Baltimore, Wise attended Denison University, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in music. He later earned a master’s and a doctorate in music education from Ohio State University.

In his previous activities, Wise has a track record of teaching students of all ability levels and is an outstanding musician, said Charles Sykes, the African-American Arts Institute’s executive director.

Wise has recorded 22 albums; and performed and toured extensively throughout the world as a singer, dancer, pianist, composer, choral director, lecturer and teacher. He has penned more than 600 compositions. His “21 Spirituals for the 21st Century” has received national and international acclaim.

Wise served as co-director of the Hampton University Ministers’ Conference Choir Directors’ and Organists’ Guild, which provides intensive training in African-American sacred music for church music ministers and college students preparing for service as church music ministers.

He is a faculty member at the Gospel Music Workshop of America, and a member of the American Choral Directors Association, the Ohio Choral Directors Association, the National Association for Music Education and the Ohio Music Education Association.

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