In a beautiful program of music centered around the spiritual, awardwinning opera singer and North Carolina native Cheryse McLeod Lewis celebrates the rich history and heritage of African Americans on Thursday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m. at the J.W. Seabrook Auditorium on the campus of Fayetteville State University. Admission is free.

“This is part of our fi ne arts series,” said Dr. Earnest Lamb, chair of Fayetteville State University’s 02-02-11-cmlewis-red-gown-5.gifDepartment of Performing and Fine Arts. “She will present a program of African-American spirituals and other music by African Americans, including a musical setting (by Lee Holby) of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. She will also sing three pieces with the University Concert Choir.”

Originally from Greensboro, Lewis earned her bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Vocal Performance from Carnegie Mellon University, her master’s of music in Vocal Performance from The University of North Carolina-Greensboro and her Professional Artist Certifi cate from the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute at the North Carolina School of the Arts.

She has performed with Asheville Lyric Opera, South Carolina Opera, Connecticut Opera, UNC-Greensboro Opera Theatre, Capital Opera Raleigh, Central Georgia Opera Guild, Greensboro Opera, Opera Carolina, Piedmont Opera, The Opera Company of N.C. and Houston Ebony Opera. Lewis also appears and records with the Inspirata Quartet and her duo group, Eleganza, in addition to performing as a soloist. She is the recipient of several prestigious vocal competition prizes.

“What we have is basically a home girl (sic) coming back to the state and visiting our campus,” Lamb said. “It’s important that our students get a chance to interact with another African- American opera singer and get another perspective of what’s possible as far as music careers. The day before the concert, she will give a master class for our students. Anyone can attend on Wednesday at noon. She probably will talk about what it’s like to be a professional musician, especially being in opera, what kind of preparation that she needs. We are looking forward to her sharing her professional life and passing that experience on to our students.”

For more information, call the FSU Ticket Offi ce at (910) 672-1724, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., or visit www.uncfsu.edu/fah.

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