Tuesday, 06 February 2024
Written by Jamie Bishop
The Fayetteville (NC) Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated, and the Fayetteville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta is set to host the A Krimson & Cream Affair on Saturday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. This dazzling event will unfold at the Iron Mike Conference Center on 2658 Rock Merritt Avenue, promising an unforgettable evening filled with elegance and excitement.
Attendees are invited to immerse themselves in a night of vibrant colors, captivating music and delightful company. The celebration of unity and camaraderie aims to unite members and supporters of the Kappa Alpha Psi and Delta Sigma Theta. Dwayne Robinson, Chairman of the Social Committee for Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. Fayetteville Alumni Chapter, shared his excitement about the event.
"Our goal is to create a space where members and friends can come together, celebrate our rich history, and forge new connections. It's not just a party; it's a celebration of our community and giving back to the next generation,” said Robinson.
The night promises delectable treats, refreshing beverages, and a dance floor alive with rhythm. Attendees are encouraged to dress to impress in semi-formal fashion, adding a touch of sophistication to the festivities.
"Events like A Krimson & Cream Affair highlight the importance of community and collaboration. It's an opportunity for individuals from different backgrounds to come together, share experiences, and enjoy a night of elegance,” Robinson said.
As the evening unfolds, participants can expect a journey through history. The Fayetteville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta was chartered on Sept. 12, 1953, by 11 dynamic women who recognized the need for service in the community. Embarking on its 70th year of Scholarship, Service, Sisterhood and Social Action, the chapter continues to impact Fayetteville and Cumberland County through its National Five Point Programmatic Thrust. The Educational Thrust committees of the Fayetteville Alumnae Chapter work diligently on issues such as social graces, community service and scholarship opportunities for youth in the community. Their commitment to International Awareness and Involvement, Economic Development, Educational Development, Physical and Mental Health and Political Awareness and Involvement is evident in their efforts to educate and initiate a 'Call to Action' in critical matters.
The Fayetteville (NC) Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated, with its roots dating back to Feb. 25, 1957, has a rich history. The charter members, including Ernest E. Miller, Booker T. McNeil, and others, instilled principles of leadership and achievement in every field of human endeavor. The Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority have been pillars in Fayetteville, shaping the community for decades.
As the A Krimson & Cream Affair unfolds, it not only promises an evening of elegance and excitement but pays homage to the rich history and impactful contributions of these two distinguished organizations in Fayetteville. Take advantage of this chance to participate in a celebration combining glamour, history, and a sense of community. Mark your calendars and join the Fayetteville (NC) Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated, and the Fayetteville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta for a night to remember.
Tickets for the event cost $75 and can be purchased at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-krimson-and-cream-affair-hosted-by-fayetteville-chapters-of-and-tickets-759705308027.
Tuesday, 06 February 2024
Written by Sam Olsen
Lift Every Voice and Sing: A Musical Journey Through Black History is a musical performance created by Brenda Vandervort-Miller. Coming into its fifth year, Lift Every Voice is an annual mainstay of the Cumberland Choral Arts musical group production lineup that aims to celebrate black culture and share it with the Fayetteville/Cumberland County community.
"I had begun thinking about this a few years before I actually brought it to the board of Cumberland Choral Arts. I brought it to our board in the summer of 2019 after watching Beyonce's Homecoming performance on Netflix. She started to sing "Lift Every Voice and Sing," and when I heard her hit those first few notes it was like a lightbulb went off. I broke out my iPad and created a shell of the program," said Vandervort-Miller.
This year's theme is "The Harlem Renaissance," a time in American history during which a cultural revival of African American music, art, philosophy, literature and theater took place and forever changed the landscape of American culture on a broader scale.
"I think what makes this show in particular great is that it's lighthearted. You'll definitely come away with something different every year. Every year has a different theme. Last year we focused on women composers and vocalists,” said Vandervort-Miller.
The Harlem Renaissance brought about notable and famous individuals alike. This includes the likes of Langston Hughes, Louis Armstrong, W. E. B. Du Bois, Ella Fitzgerald, James Weldon Johnson and more. For those familiar with Johnson, he is the author of the poem and song, "Lift Every Voice and Sing" in which the musical takes its namesake. The song invokes times of hardship, the spirit of perseverance, the desire for justice, and deliverance from the cruelties of slavery and prejudice experienced by the Black population in America.
This message still rings true with many Black Americans today. The words stand as a cultural and historical touchstone for the Black community, and, in larger part, for all Americans as well.
"For me, it's part of my history and part of my culture. Growing up a Black American it's never not been a part of my cultural identity. I think I might have learned it about the same time I learned our national anthem. It's always been a part of my musical life," said Vandervort-Miller.
The show's appeal comes from this personal perspective of sharing and appreciating one's culture. One of the art's many beauties is its ability to provoke conversations both internally and externally.
Learning to appreciate the unique perspectives, lived experiences, and cultures of one another is an important step toward fostering a healthy appreciation for all of the things that make us similar. Our shared love for creativity and expression are just two examples of the many traits we share as human beings.
As Vandervort-Miller puts it, "We want people to come and be informed about what the theme for that year is, but ultimately we want people to have fun, and walk away from it feeling good and rejuvenated. Our show is a light-hearted, fun performance with history thrown in."
"The focus is to lend a different perspective to Black history and shine a light on a period within Black history for people to come and have a fun time," Miller continued.
With a planned performance from the Fayetteville Jazz Orchestra, the musical heightens the experience with big band numbers and encourages the audience to dress in period-appropriate clothing to better immerse oneself in the time period. All of these pieces come together to promise a show that will impress, entertain and stay on people's minds.
This year's performance, and those before it, are made possible because of the amazing organization and teamwork of members of the Cumberland Choral Arts and the team behind Vandervort-Miller working together to bring her vision of black history-inspired musical theater to the stage.
"The support from the board of directors of the Cumberland Choral Arts has been invaluable to this project, and specifically the board president Sandy Cage and CCA secretary Cathy Thaman. Brandley Laub is another board member who has been invaluable. Alexandra Marth has also been extremely helpful in marketing the show this year and getting us in front of people and faces who might not have seen us before."
"They have all just been absolutely invaluable. I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention our artistic director for Cumberland Choral Arts which is Dr. Michael Martin. I have an incredible support team with this organization and I cannot be more thankful," said Vandervort-Miller.
The Lift Every Voice and Sing: A Musical Journey Through Black History show is truly something to behold. From Vandervort-Miller's spark of inspiration and love for her culture to the stage lights and opening night, Lift Every Voice and Sing: A Musical Journey Through Black History is a story not just about the history of Black Americans throughout America's history, but of their continued efforts to strive for success, excellence and have a positive influence on the communities and society around them.
It is a story of how people come together to create things they find beautiful and inspiring and their efforts to share them with others in the hopes that they too might find their creations beautiful and inspiring.
This cycle of inspiration and creation is something that connects us all as human beings. It allows us to experience each other's individual perspectives, beliefs and values, and to share them in kind. When we support endeavors to create art that helps facilitate that unity in expression, we are also supporting the opportunity to do the same for ourselves and for others in the future.
Lift Every Voice and Sing: A Musical Journey Through Black History will be performed live at Fayetteville State University's J.W. Seabrook Auditorium at 1200 Murchison Road in Fayetteville. The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. and be held on Feb. 17. Tickets are$15 and are available first-come first-serve.
For more information about the event, visit https://www.cumberlandchoralarts.org/lift-every-voice-concert/ . Tickets can be purchased at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lift-every-voice-and-sing-a-musical-journey-through-black-history-tickets-788442120607?aff=ebdsoporgprofile.