Choral Scholarship Makes Group Via New music

Previously mentioned: Charleston Mens Chorus scholarship receiver Driq Graves sings the nationwide anthem during spring 2021 graduation. (Photo by Mike Ledford)


Audio is a shared expertise – a person that delivers lifetime to our biggest joys and consolation to our deepest sorrows. It offers us a place to be our truest selves and hook up with others who also have a song in their heart. 

That ethos is specifically why the Charleston Mens Refrain exists. Started in 1990 as a volunteer team, the chorus presents a community for male singers to sing with. Out of the group’s appreciate for new music has developed a wish to help more youthful singers follow that identical passion.  

Which is why the organization funds annual scholarships for two male Higher education of Charleston choral students who are focusing their studies in vocal overall performance or choral conducting. 

“It is a huge element of our mission to foster music instruction for male singers,” suggests Charleston Mens Chorus President Joe Brockington. “We also want to acquire much more singers for the next era to keep on the tradition of the men’s chorus.”

Which is why, in addition to acquiring money support, recipients of the Charleston Mens Refrain scholarships are invited to be users of the ensemble. It is an opportunity that features the college students mentorship from older customers set up in their professions and delivers new vocal talent to the chorus. 

“The college students enable fill out our seem and voice,” says Brockington. “Often our more youthful singers are our best singers. The simple fact that they are voice majors at the college level places them forward of most of our customers who sing as a hobby.” 

Driq Graves (base left) performed with the Charleston Mens Chorus as aspect of a scholarship he been given via the group.

As a 3-year recipient of the scholarship, Driq Graves ’21, a music significant with a concentration in vocal functionality, has built the most of the encounter. Even as the coronavirus pandemic forced the Charleston Mens Chorus to rehearse in an outdoor parking garage, socially distanced and donning masks, Graves ongoing to exhibit up and step up to support the group. 

“He’s extremely gifted and balances that talent with modesty,” says Brockington, including that Graves is usually prepared to assist move equipment, sing solos and help other choir customers in learning the music. 

Driq Graves sings a solo throughout a Charleston Mens Refrain live performance.

“Of class, being a college or university student, anything that can help me financially is a massive benefit, but the mentorship is also a significant aspect of the scholarship,” suggests Graves. “The men who are in the Charleston Mens Chorus are generally inquiring what they can do to help my nicely-getting not only as a university student, but as a human being and as a member of their refrain.” 

In point, when the pandemic prevented Graves from earning funds as a compensated singer at church solutions all around Charleston, forcing him to just take on a part-time job to end his senior year, the Charleston Mens Chorus awarded him additional economic aid through the scholarship in recognition of his devotion and contributions to the business. 

“It was completely unexpected,” suggests Graves, who programs to continue on studying voice with CofC college member David Templeton after graduation before then applying to graduate school to pursue a occupation in vocal general performance. 

Faculty of the Arts Dean Edward Hart ’88, who has developed the school’s partnership with the Charleston Mens Chorus considering the fact that taking the helm as the chair of the songs division in 2013, suggests in a culturally prosperous group these as Charleston, creating partnerships with organizations like the men’s chorus is integral to owning a robust arts neighborhood in just and beyond the partitions of the College or university. 

“It’s not only just a make any difference of economical philanthropy, it’s about obtaining that relationship in phrases of the new music department being connected with them,” says Hart. “We all prosper in the entire School of the Arts through relationships with other arts and cultural groups in the neighborhood, and we’re only built stronger by that.”