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BLAC Inc. presents “An Evening with Ray Charles” Soul Food Dinner Theater on April 17 in Oklahoma City

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Black Methodists meet for historic “Gathering” on March 1-3 in South Carolina

The country’s three largest African-American Methodist denominations (the African Methodist Episcopal-AME, African Methodist Episcopal Zion-AME Zion, and Christian Methodist Episcopal-CME) are convening as a body for the first time in 45 years from March 1-3 at the Carolina Coliseum, 701 Assembly St. in Columbia, SC
“It appears that we could do more together than we can apart,” said Senior Bishop George W.C. Walker, one of the organizers for the historic Great Gathering. 

According to a news release, the purpose of the Great Gathering meeting is to address how illiteracy, unemployment, crime, personal responsibility and other issues are affecting African-American men’s ability to be good providers and role models in their communities.
 “Together, all our denominations represent a people and a community with many ills and problems,” Senior Bishop John R. Bryant said. “But we feel strongly that we can overcome all that might separate our churches so we can all focus collectively on what we can do to make things better for our people.” 
Over the course of three days, some of the country’s leading thinkers from the fields of education, religion and politics will discuss and collaborate on an initiative to solve the problems that the Great Gathering will define. Among the confirmed participants are Princeton University professor scholar Cornel West; Marian Wright Edelman of the Children’s Defense Fund; philosopher Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu; platinum recording gospel artist Marvin Sapp; singer Byron Cage, and Grammy winner artist Bishop Hezekiah Walker.
AME Zion pastor Dr. Staccato Powell, who is also the CEO of Grace in the City, a community development corporation that is redeveloping the blighted College Park neighborhood in Raleigh, NC; is the chairman for this groundbreaking summit. All activities will take place at the Carolina Coliseum in Columbia, SC. For more information, go to for registration details.

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Donna Cox opens Carol Brice Series on February 20 in Oklahoma City

Soprano vocalist Donna Cox will open Black Liberated Arts Center Inc.’s (BLAC) 2010 Carol Brice Series at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20 at the Douglass High School Auditorium, 900 N. Martin L. King in Oklahoma City, OK.  
Cox is an assistant professor of Voice at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK, where she teaches Applied Voice at the undergraduate and graduate levels. As a pedagogue, she has facilitated vocal master classes in Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, North Carolina and New York.  
Cox has performed as the soprano soloist for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Salome Orchestra and conductor Ken Hakoda in Kansas with Academia Phil harmonica and Chorale.  She has performed the soprano solos in Vivaldi’s “Dixit Dominus,” Haydn’s “Lord Nelson Mass,” “Theresan Messes,” Mozart’s “Requiem,” and Mendelssohn’s “Elijah.” 
In February 2007, she performed with Dave Brubeck in his mass “To Hope” with the Canterbury Choral Society under the direction of Russell Gloyd.  As a recitalist, Cox has performed on numerous university campuses in the United States.  She has also toured extensively throughout Germany, featured in recitals focusing on Mozart opera, oratorio and Lied. 
Cox’s Feb. 20 performance will focus on three African Americans – Robert Owens, Margaret Bonds and John Carter.  Poets Owens and Bonds often compared to none other than poet Langston Hughes.  The music is quite sophisticated with its lush harmonies and unexpected contrast which is an Owens’ trait.  It is also spiritual and includes John Carter’s arrangements as well as Cox’s arrangements.   
The program is supported by the Ad Astra Foundation and the Oklahoma Arts Council.  Tickets are $10 and are on sale at Capitol Square Station, Charlie’s Jazz, Rhythm and Blues Store, KM66 and Learning Tree Toy Store in the Oklahoma City metro area.  For more information or to buy tickets, call BLAC Inc. at (405) 524-3800. 

Donna Cox – Voice from OU School of Music on Vimeo.