Lift Up Your Voice! Celebrates Christmas In Recital

Rev. Alex Capers

On Sunday, December 3rd at 5PM at the Mount Zion AME Church on 5 Glebe Street, Downtown Charleston, 15 outstanding voice students of under the tutelage of Sandra Barnhardt, will present the culmination of months of vocal lessons in the first Christmas recital of the newly founded vocal music academy, LIFT UP YOUR VOICE!

Formerly the Vocal Coach in Christal Heywood’s Gibsong Academy of Music, Sandra Barnhardt stepped out on her own when Gibsong Academy of Music relocated to N. Charleston from West Ashley. Lift Up Your Voice! continues to offer vocal coaching for Beginners, Intermediates, and Advanced students who invest in taking voice lessons for many different reasons. Several voice students aspire to higher callings of producing a CD recording, performing solo recitals, or just becoming confident enough to sing lead solos at church or weddings. Several of the students are from Lowcountry Voices, the highly acclaimed and popular community choir of which Sandra Barnhardt is the Assistant Director and Events Manager. Barnhardt states, “the LCV choir members who come to Lift Up Your Voice! aspire to improve their breathing and vocal techniques in hopes of becoming a viable asset to the choir. I find that quite commendable.”

Barnhardt, a noted music educator in the public schools of northern New Jersey, who retired from the Cicely Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts as Director of Choral Activities, actually taught and interfaced with two talented young people during their eight grade middle school experience – Tisha Campbell and Lauryn Hill, who later became superstars in the recording and TV industries. She is proud of all the thousands of students to which she taught music education and directed nationally acclaimed choirs during her 40 years in education, but beams with pride when she speaks of the students that have followed in her footsteps to become public school music teachers as well as choir musicians and directors.

Some of Barnhardt’s former voice students from the Gibsong Music Academy have also gone one on to pursue their careers in voice. Rev. Dr. Alex Capers has nearly completed his long awaited CD project which he hopes to be released some time in 2018. Dr. Capers, who has also authored his first book entitled, Ready For Battle, will also be the guest artist at this year’s recital and will have copies of his book available for purchase. Another high profile former student is Kyle Taylor who starred in a one man production during the 2017 Piccolo Spoleto entitled, “NO TURNING BACK”, highlighting the life and times of Frederick Douglass to which he received rave reviews for his acting and singing. Several young students have taken vocal coaching in preparation for auditions to schools for the arts, as well as college auditions, and talent competitions, and all that have studied with Barnhardt have been successful in their quests.

The Christmas Recital is always enjoyable as the students present their renditions of Christmas classics performing in all the musical genres – classical, spirituals, pop, and of course traditional and contemporary gospel. Donation is only $5., and patrons will be allowed to give your donation at the door. There will also be a reception immediately following the recital to greet Mrs. Barnhardt and her voice students as well as purchase Dr. Capers’ book.

The public is invited to come and share in the excitement of these talented voices from Charleston’s new voice studio – LIFT UP YOUR VOICE! For further information you may call 843.609.5137 or email [email protected]

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