Howard University Alumnus and Local Performer Greg Watkins to lead new African-American Classical Music Chorale under the auspices of The Coalition for African-Americans in the Performing Arts.
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Today, The Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts (CAAPA) announced the formation of The CAAPA Chorale, an elite vocal ensemble, showcasing a variety of genres, with a focus on classical music. Greg Watkins, who is known to many in the DC performing arts community as an an award-winning pianist, singer, musical director, choral conductor, composer, educator, and actor has been named as the new artistic director of the ensemble. Watkins has appeared in several operas and numerous theatrical productions throughout Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, including Tazewell Thompson’s “Jubilee” (Arena Stage), Elton John and Tim Rice’s “Aida” with Constellation Theatre Company and “The Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadows” by Steven Allen with Opera North.
Executive Director Terri Allen shared her thoughts on Watkins’ appointment. “We’re grateful to have Greg Watkins lead our CAAPA Chorale. With his talent and direction, the CAAPA Chorale will become of one the Washington, D.C. area’s top ensembles to know.” The repertoire of the group will include a variety of music including Black composers, music of the Western European vocal canon, and more.
Revered for his contributions to the performing arts, Watkins is the recipient of several awards including Quincy Jones: ASCAP Foundation/Cherry Lane Foundation/Music Alive in 2008, and The Raney-Moss Group in 2019,
for his work in production, composition, performance, and musical direction. Additionally, Greg is also the
recipient of the Coalition for African-Americans in the Performing Arts Emerging Artist Award (2015) and a Helen Hayes Award nominee for Outstanding Ensemble in “The Gospel at Colonus” and most recently Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical, “Legally Blonde” (Keegan Theatre). He is also the former artistic director of The MusicianShip Washington Youth Choir.
Watkins expressed his excitement about this new appointment. “I am truly humbled by the opportunity to lead this exceptional aggregation of seasoned professional singers, during a time when our nation needs us most. My thanks to CAAPA for providing such a meaningful experience – a space to create beautiful music and build
community. Together, we are committed to singing color into the classics.” he continued.
The CAAPA Chorale is comprised of an exceptional roster of professional singers, many of whom sung locally with Washington National Opera and in a variety of concert halls and prestigious venues.
Sopranos: Michele Cober, Leila Gheitu, Brittani McNeill and Pamela Simonson
Countertenor: Kenneth Alston
Mezzo-Sopranos: Marquita Cooper, Natalie Gilliam and Candace Potts
Tenors: Anthony Ballard, Wayne Jennings, Colby Mullen and Edward Washington,II
Baritones/Bass: Daniel Rich, Antonio Hammett, Darrick Speller and Jim Williams
The CAAPA Chorale will be a fresh, new ensemble on the DC choral music landscape. “I am truly humbled by the opportunity to lead this exceptional aggregation of seasoned, professional singers, during a time when our nation needs us most. My thanks to CAAPA for providing such a meaningful experience – a space to create beautiful music and build community. Together, we are committed to singing color into the classics” Watkins concluded.
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About the Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts:
The Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts (CAAPA) is a non-profit 501c3 arts
organization in support of Black classical musicians, youth, and others in the performing arts, by
Bringing Color to the Classics ®, through The CAAPA Cause: community outreach, arts
education, Audience development, Performance opportunities, and Arts partnerships. For more
information, visit www.4caapa.org or call 301-839-1444.
About TE DEUM ARTS MANAGEMENT ARTS SOLUTIONS: Te Deum Arts Management Solutions is a boutique public relations firm, specializing in providing tailored PR services to enhance the brand of performing arts organizations as well as individual projects and companies.