Oakwood College, Huntsville, Alabama

The Aeolians of Oakwood College was originally organized in 1946 by the late Dr. Eva B. Dykes. Since then the choir has traveled widely, touching the hearts of both young and old with their inspirational singing.

Later conductors include: Mrs. Joni Pierre-Louis, Mr. Harold Anthony, Dr. Jon Robertson, Dr. Alma M. Blackmon, Dr. John Dennison, and Dr. Ricky Little (a former Aeolian), Eurydice Osterman, Michele Cleveland, and Lloyd Mallory.

Aeolian concerts present a repertoire of choral music which ranges from the Baroque era to the twentieth century. Moreover, the Aeolians is an authoritative exponent of Negro spirituals and work songs which express the yearnings of our forefathers to be free.

Under the direction of Dr. John Dennison, the Aeolians performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and received very flattering reviews.

Dr. Alma M. Blackmon's conducting of the Aeolians, which began in 1973, brought the group into national and international focus with the performance of over 200 concerts in the United States, Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, and Canada. Performances at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in Dallas, Texas (1980), led to an invitation by the Polish SDA Church in Warsaw to tour that country.

Motivated by the taste for international performances, the Aeolians competed successfully in a nationwide contest to become Friendship Ambassadors for the USA. Under the sponsorship of the Friendship Ambassadors Foundation of New York City, the choir toured Romania (1981) and Great Britain (1983).

The album of Negro spirituals, "Oh Freedom" (1974), sold over 10,000 copies. Other recordings include two joint concerts of the Aeolians and wind ensemble of the University of Alabama, Huntsville, at the Von Braun Civic Center in Huntsville, Alabama (1977 and 1978), under the titles, "Together In Concert" and "Together Again." Both were aired on Public Television. The Aeolians have also made appearances on Good Morning America (ABC) and the CBS Morning Show.

 

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame

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