The University of Illinois Black Chorus, under the direction of Dr. Ollie Watts Davis, will perform at the West Virginia University Creative Arts Center on Friday, Sept. 29, at 7:30 p.m. The Paul Robeson/Mahalia Jackson Choir will open the evening’s event. The appearance of both choirs is the crowning event for WVU Social Justice’s Diversity Week 2000.

Davis is associate professor of music and conductor of the Black Chorus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A native of West Virginia, Dr. Davis graduated from West Virginia Institute of Technology, and earned a Master of Arts degree from WVU and both the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Davis is the Founding Director of the Black Sacred Music Symposium held biennially at the University of Illinois and has served on the faculty of several national conferences, including the West Virginia Black Sacred Music Festival.

Active as a performing artist, soprano Davis made her New York debut at Carnegie Hall, and has appeared throughout North and South America and in Europe with major orchestras and opera companies. She has also performed at the West Virginia Governor’s Mansion as part of the Arts and Letters Series and as a guest artist for the Governor’s inaugural ceremony.

The University of Illinois Black Chorus performs a variety of music ranging from Negro spirituals, anthems and formal music, to traditional gospel, jazz and rhythm and blues. The Black Chorus has released a CD (Have Thine Own Way, Lord) for which Dr. Davis was the executive producer.

This event is free and open to both WVU and its surrounding communities, but due to the anticipated demand for tickets,all seats must be reserved in advance.Groups are encouraged to call early. For further information and/or to reserve your tickets, please call 293-9232.