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Interview with the Rev. Dr. Raymond Wise

  • Thursday, September 18, 2014
  • 4:00 PM–5:00 PM

You're invited to an interview with the Rev. Dr. Raymond Wise, an expert in African-American spirituals and other worship music.

You're invited to a conversation about the needs and opportunities in church music today with the Rev. Dr. Raymond Wise, an expert in African-American spirituals and other music used in worship. This conversation  is hosted by John D. Witvliet, professor of music and director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Calvin College.

About the Rev. Dr. Raymond Wise

Rev. Wise has served as a church musician for more than 30 years and has appeared on radio and television, recorded 22 albums, performed with opera singers, orchestras, dance companies, professional recording groups, and has toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia, as a singer, dancer, pianist, composer, choral director, lecturer, and teacher. Dr. Wise has penned more than 600 compositions many of which are available through the Raymond Wise Gospel and Choral sheet music series. His anthology of 21 Spirituals for the 21st Century has received national and international acclaim. He served as co-director of the Hampton University Ministers' Conference Choir Directors' and Organists' Guild, which provides intensive training in African American sacred music for church music ministers and college students preparing for service as church music ministers.

A native of Baltimore, MD., Dr. Wise began his musical career at the age of three, singing gospel music with his family singing group "The Wise Singers."  Dr. Wise was educated through the Baltimore City Public School System and graduated second out of class of 500 from the Paul Laurence Dunbar Community High School in 1979.

He then went on to Denison University (Granville, OH) where he reorganized the Black Student Union Choir, started the Black Student Union Ensemble and Dance company and earned a B.F.A. in Music.  From there he went on to study Opera, Art, and German at the Institute for European Studies in Vienna, Austria, then on to study African-American History, Music, and Dance at San Francisco State University in San Francisco, California. He completed an apprenticeship in the business and recording of Gospel Music with the Walter Hawkins Corporation in Oakland, California. Rev. Wise was awarded a Graduate Fellowship from the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio where earned his Masters in Music Education and Ohio Teacher's Certification.  In addition he also completed a Doctorate in Music Education at the Ohio State University for which his dissertation topic is "Defining African American Gospel Music by Tracing its Historical and Musical Development from 1900 to 2000."

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