Brown A.M.E. to host choir

Published 8:15 pm Saturday, July 2, 2011

Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church will host the Boys’ Choir of Tallahassee in concert at 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 9 in the church’s sanctuary. The choir is a community-based outreach program formed as a project of the Florida State University Department of Social Work in 1995 for at risk males, ages 8 to 18, enrolled in schools throughout the Tallahassee area.

The choir gives boys from high poverty homes an outlet from a dangerous life on the streets and gives them a therapeutic tool — music — to encourage discipline, build character, teach interpersonal skills, raise self-esteem, and enable these young men to achieve academic excellence and realize their fullest potential while acquiring life skills. As a result, the young men enrolled in the program maintain rising grade point averages and continuous enrollment in local colleges and universities.

The choir is unique because of its “No Excuses” motto, which defines its blueprint for the 21st century, and its extraordinary musical repertoire. Under the direction of Mr. Earl Lee, Jr., the award-winning choir has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and sang for the inauguration festivities for President Barack Obama. Director Earle Lee has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and received her honorary Use Your Life Award, along with a grant of $150,000. The choir continues to grow in popularity on the state, national and global level.

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Director Earle Lee believes even boys with a troubled past deserve a future. Of all the boys’ impressive accomplishments, Earle is most proud of the fact that since the first graduating class in 1998, every graduate of the program has gone on to college.

“Our goal is to help these young men be what they want to be in life,” Lee said. “The sky’s the limit for the boys.”

While in Selma, the choir will visit many of the historic sites around Selma to learn more about the city’s rich heritage. The concert is free to the public; however, the choir welcomes any donations.