Harpist with local ties to perform in Earl Goodwin Theatre

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 17, 2005

Times-Journal Writer

Harpist Alfrae Johnson-Ragins will appear in concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 20, at the Earl Goodwin Theatre, Wallace Community College.

Deaconesses, trustees and trustee’s wives ministries of Tabernacle Baptist Church are sponsors of the concert.

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She is the niece of retired teacher Athelstein Parrish of Selma. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R.A. Johnson of New York City. Her mother, the former Irene Parrish, is also a native of Selma.

A New Yorker by birth, Johnson-Ragins received her Bachelor of Science degree in music education from Fisk University in Nashville.

Professionally, she is a legal secretary with the firm of Hinshaw and Culbertson, LLP.

As a freelance harpist she has performed in the metropolitan and tri-state area for numerous charities, civic and corporate concerns and fraternal organizations. These include Verizon, Harlem Legal Services, National Association of Business and Professional Women, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, National Association of Negro Musicians, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.

Johnson-Ragins was resident harpist at the Harlem eatery, Copeland’s, from 1985 to 1992 and at Le Chateau from 1992 to 1994. In 1993 she played at the wedding of Eddie Murphy in the Plaza Hotel of New York City.

She is a member of Grace Congregational Church, where she serves on the Board of Trustees and the Stewardship Committee. She is a member of the Friendly Circle and the Agape Fellowship, two of the church auxiliaries. She also holds life membership in Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. and serves on the board of directors of Central Harlem Meals on Wheels.

In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, playing chess, listening to jazz and reading a good book. She and her husband Willis “Snooky” Ragins are residents of New York City. Johnson-Ragins has recently learned that has been chosen to receive the Hattie McDaniel Fine Arts Award of Excellence in Performing Arts. Delta Mu Sigma Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority of Mt. Vernon, N.Y. will present the award in March 2005.

Donations for admission are $10 for adults and $5 for students. For ticket information call 874-9443.