2003 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Little, Dawkins, Gordon, Harden, Minor, Smith, Walls, White
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION COMMENDING AND CONGRATULATING THE RUST COLLEGE A'CAPPELLA CHOIR UPON ITS RECEIPT OF THE 2003 GOVERNOR'S EXCELLENCE IN THE ARTS AWARD IN THE CATEGORY OF CULTURAL AMBASSADORS.
WHEREAS, internationally known Rust College A'Cappella Choir from Holly Springs, Mississippi, is the recipient of the 2003 Governor's Excellence in the Arts Award in the category of Cultural Ambassadors; and
WHEREAS, for nearly 70 years the Rust College A'Cappella Choir has been a dynamic premiere choral ensemble and a living Mississippi folk tradition with a record of outstanding performances. With its richly textured and tightly harmonized sound, the Choir has achieved international acclaim performing and recording its eclectic repertoire of classical music, gospel and Negro spirituals, and show and pop tunes. The Choir has toured extensively throughout the United States, Africa and Europe, performing at major concert halls, churches and conferences, two world's fairs, international choral festivals and high-profile and social events; and
WHEREAS, the Choir was founded in 1934 by Natalie Doxey, a native Mississippian and one-time piano accompanist of singer Marian Anderson. She remained director until her retirement in 1967. Subsequent directors included Lassaye Homes, Dr. Eddie Jones, Vernon Robinson and Dr. Barbara S. Ricks. Since 1990, Zebedee Reynolds Jones has conducted the Choir; and
WHEREAS, for much of the 20th Century, the Choir was able to promote better racial understanding between northern whites and African-Americans and Mississippi's African-American and white communities. The Choir and its various male and female ensembles were among the first singing groups featured at predominantly white churches in Mississippi, as well as at mixed civic social events. The 1968 concert given at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson by Leontyne Price on behalf of Rust College and the Choir was a sellout performance and a major accomplishment in breaking down segregated seating and mixed concert attendance at a major venue in the state; and
WHEREAS, it is with great pride that we recognize the contributions of this national and internationally known musical group which has brought honor to its college, its community and to the State of Mississippi:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend and congratulate the Rust College A'Cappella Choir upon its receipt of the 2003 Governor's Excellence in the Arts Award in the category of Cultural Ambassadors, and extend to the membership of the Choir the best wishes of the Legislature on its future success.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this Resolution be presented to the Rust College A'Cappella Choir at induction ceremonies on February 28, 2003, and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.