Beach Institute welcomes Dr. Sharon Willis

On Friday March 6, 2009, the Beach Institute Lecture Series presents a return engagement of When I Was In Africa, performed by composer, writer, actress and Chair of the Clark Atlanta University Music Department, Dr. Sharon J. Willis. The free performance will take place at 6pm, Friday March 6th at Second African Baptist Church, 123 Houston St.

A modern day storyteller, Dr. Willis interprets history and points out its relevance to our present and future through her onewoman shows. These interactive presentations engage, as well as inform adults and young people alike, by exploring our ambitions, by offering a clear perspective on what it means to be black in America today and how we can draw strength from our past. In the tradition of an African griot, this amazing artist opens a new world of possibilities with a performance that entertains, educates, motivates and inspires.

Last June, Dr. Willis’ performed When I Was In Africa for a small group of influential Savannahians as part of the monthly Hungry Club Forum and the response was overwhelming. The King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation immediately approached her and began talks for a return engagement of this wonderful presentation in a format that would expose her talents to the community at large. In addition to the free performance of When I Was In Africa, Dr. Willis will perform, Who Am I, and What Am I to You, for area high school students at the Savannah Arts Academy.

Dr. Willis is a published composer and was commissioned by the American Guild of Organists to compose a sacred organ suite for the 2006 Chicago Convention.

The Atlanta Centerwide Orchestra commissioned a memorial tribute to the late Dr. Darryl Mitchell in 2001.

An encore performance of this orchestral tone poem was presented at St. Philip A.M.E. Church in February 2002 at the 11th Annual SEAAC Music Festival.

Her organ suite, We Shall Overcome, published by Vivace Press, has been performed by concert organist and Professor Calvert Johnson throughout the United States and recorded by concert organist Trey Clegg.

Mr. Clegg performed the piece in Germany at Martin Luther’s church last December.

In addition to her musical credits, Willis presents dramatic historical presentations at seminars, conventions and conferences across the country.

This event is free and open to the public. Co- Sponsors for the performances include The Savannah Bank, our venue host, Second African Baptist Church and reception sponsor, Dr. Sharon Moses.

For additional information, contact (912) 234- 8000 or visit www.kingtisdell.


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