The Herald Bulletin

March 15, 2014

Morehouse Glee Club returning to Anderson

Choir director, pastor's friendship brings popular performers back

By Kelly Dickey
The Herald Bulletin

---- — ANDERSON — Pastor Sharon White didn’t realize when she met David Morrow in college that she would be the key to getting a world renowned glee club to perform in Anderson.

But thanks to her friendship with the choir director, the Morehouse College Glee Club is performing at First United Methodist Church at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

“It’s a joy to be able to bring them because I know what people are going to experience,” White said. “It’s like having a good meal and telling people they have to get it. You can’t explain the taste for them.”

The glee club will be in Anderson to perform hymns, classical music and various songs by African-American composers, Morrow said. They’ll also perform “Betelehemu,” a popular Nigerian song.

“That’s the one people will never forget,” White said.

The choir has performed all over the world and with various celebrities in its more than 100 years of existence. The choir performed the national anthem with Natalie Cole for Super Bowl XXVIII, as part of the opening ceremony for the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games and at the 129th commencement exercises at Morehouse College, where President Barack Obama received an honorary degree.

The group has also performed internationally, including in Russia, Poland, Bermuda and South Africa.

Since Morrow took over Morehouse College Glee Club in 1987, White has made sure her congregations get to see the choir live.

The two first met in class when they were earning their undergraduate degrees. He attended Morehouse and she was a student at Clark College, now Clark Atlanta University. At the time, the two colleges sometimes had combined classes.

Ever since, the two have remained friends and have reunions, thanks to the performances.

Just about any church White goes to, she tries to get the glee club there to perform.

“So far she’s made good on that promise,” Morrow said. “… It is always clear in her congregation that they’re very friendly and they treat us well. It’s always wonderful.”

First United Methodist Church has been no exception. The glee club performed there two years ago, and White said people often ask her when the performers are going to return.

“It’s an amazing experience (and) something everyone appreciates,” she said. “People were still talking about it two years later. That’s another reason we brought them back.”

The group’s tour schedule makes it easy for them to stop in Indiana every couple of years.

White said bringing the glee club’s messages, positive image and overall talent to Anderson is somewhat of a thank-you and a gift to the community.

People won’t be disappointed by the group’s talent, Morrow said, and there is a reason the Morehouse choir has been successful for more than a century.

“We’re going on 103 years now,” he said, “this group of students sing as a labor of love.”

The concert will begin at 7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 1215 Jackson St. There is no admission, although a freewill offering is appreciated.

Like Kelly Dickey on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @KellyD_THB, or call 640-4805.