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Student Honored with Solo Performance at Washington’s Kennedy Center


(Huntsville, Alabama) For performers, the opportunity to be on stage at the Kennedy Center is a dream come true. For Carla Henry, the dream has come true; having twice been selected by Drake State to represent the college in the National HBCU Concert Choir – 105 Voices of History.

In 2008, Henry was first selected to participate in the annual event. Each year, the organization Partners for Achieving Success brings together a choir comprised of one representative from each of the country’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The choir then performs at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC as part of the annual HBCU Week activities. This year Henry was honored to with a solo performance of Duke Ellington’s “Mood Indigo”.

The students not only get to perform in the famed Kennedy Center, they are also exposed to a wide range of influential speakers during the week long session. Last year Henry had the privilege of meeting Phylicia Rashad known for her role as Clair Huxtable in the 80’s sitcom “The Cosby Show”. She also met renowned harpist and composer Jeff Majors. This year she was introduced to members of the Gospel group “Take Six”, Tom Joiner – nationally syndicated radio host and Roland Carter a distinguished composer, conductor and pianist.

The students are selected by their college in the summer to participate in the concert which is held each fall. Over the next two to three months, the participants rehearse together as a regional group. In October, the regional groups join and spend a week rehearsing for the event hosted at the Kennedy Center. The audience is filled with high ranking officials from the education community in Washington, the performer’s family members and participants in the HBCU Week Festivities.

When asked what part of the event was most exciting Henry replied, “Just being at the Kennedy Center and seeing all the people and the lights.”

Henry is a member of the Grace Tabernacle Choir and the Drake State Gospel Choir. She plans to graduate from Drake State with an Associate Degree in Office Systems Technology in May 2010. Her ultimate professional goal is to own her own business.

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