The Denmark Technical College Choral Ensemble was the featured entertainment for the South Carolina Democratic Convention, held June 21-22 in Columbia.
The invitation was extended to perform music before the Friday evening banquet and before the convention itself. The activities were held at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.
“We sang 19 unique selections and repeated seven of them including ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’, ‘God Bless America,’ and the National Anthem,” Dr. Yvette McDaniel said. McDaniel has directed the choral program since 1999.
“This invitation came as we were in the middle of summer school. Students finished the term and went home. I called and asked choir alumni to represent the institution as the choral program – to be its ambassadors. These young talents agreed to be the Choral Ensemble,” she said.
Alumni Ashley-Marie Jordan, Jamaar Wilson, Ladetria Holman, Myron Brooker, Naviree Johnson, Travis Palmer and Tyrall Kinard made up the group.
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The most recent alumnus in 2019 is Naviree Johnson, who is a second bass in the ensemble. The Denmark resident said, “I got a picture of me and Biden, like having a real conversation. Man! This is my first big performance, and I met everybody. And Cory Booker remembered my face from when we sang in Orangeburg.”
Ashley Jordan has also performed on numerous occasions to represent Denmark Tech. Professionally known as Glyshae, the Denmark citizen is a 2019 inductee into the South Carolina State University Jazz Hall of Fame. She served as soprano soloist for five of the choral pieces and brought eight cover selections from her professional repertoire including “At Last,” “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” “Under the Boardwalk,” and “I Hope You Dance.”
Myron Brooker, Minister of Music at New Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Orangeburg, was the tenor soloist for “Stand” and an original arrangement of “God Bless America.” Ladetria Holman and Jamaar Wilson were featured in an original arrangement of the National Anthem; both are professional gospel artists. Wilson, along with Tyrall Kinard, delighted the Saturday morning conventioneers as soloists in a Temptations medley.
McDaniel, a retired operatic soprano, was asked at her hiring to provide these types of opportunities to the choral students at Denmark Tech.
“We have been blessed with talented students and vast opportunities. My kids have opened for the Manhattans and the Emotions. As a choir of Denmark Tech, we have performed for many audiences at the invitation of then-Gov. Nikki Haley, the S.C. Legislative Black Caucus, the National Congressional Black Caucus, and the honorable James E. Clyburn. We have positioned respective students to sing background for David Cooler when he opened for Kenny Chesney and to be choristers for the late, great Moses Hogan. To assist their personal music careers, individual students have performed their originals to open for T.I., Lil Wayne, Lloyd, the Williams Brothers, Gorilla Zo, B.O.B., Black Youngsta and 21 Savage. We are looking for the next generation of kids who want to go to a technical college and want to continue their artistry. We already are preparing to do a variety of events, big, during the next two academic years,” McDaniel said.