I am blessed to be a wife, mother, grandmother and educator, who taught
in the St. Louis Public Schools for 34 years.
As an educator and music lover, I was and am drawn to
the opportunity to learn more about Africa’s rich cultural heritage
through the innate multidisciplinary qualities that are unique to the
African music produced and presented by the St. Louis African Chorus.
There is something in the music that addresses all modalities and evokes a
gamut of emotions within me.
I have been a volunteer for the St. Louis African
Chorus since its establishment in 1994 and a board member since 1995. It
has been gratifying, but humbling to have watched and shared in our
organization’s growth and development under the inspired and dynamic
leadership of our founder and artistic director, Fred Onovwerosuoke. Now,
retired from teaching, I am privileged to be able to devote more time and
energy to volunteering and serving on the Chorus board of directors.
I love to travel, too. Volunteering with Chorus has not
only afforded me the opportunity to travel throughout metro St. Louis,
other parts of the U.S. and South America. Through the Chorus I’ve also
fulfilled a lifelong and self-affirming dream to journey to Africa - land
of my heritage. While traveling with the St. Louis African Chorus family,
I have witnessed and experienced first-hand the breakdown of cultural
barriers precipitated by Chorus performances and loving outreach. These
experiences have helped to broaden understanding and appreciation of
different cultures and the kinship that we share.
As a volunteer and board member, I am also encouraged
by the enthusiasm and diversity of committed people who generously support
and work selflessly and tirelessly together in furthering our organization’s
Spiritually and emotionally, my association with the
Chorus has been refreshing and in many ways healing for me. I am blessed
and love being of service to the premier arts organization for music in
African languages, the St. Louis African Chorus.
I grew up in a little small town in the bootheel of
Missouri. After graduating from Delta C-7 High School at the age of 17,
decided to come to the “big city” to conquer the world! I graduated
from Harris Stowe State College with a BA Degree in Elementary Education
and extended certification inn Mathematics. I worked in the Normandy
School District as a 7th grade math teacher and later became a remedial
math teacher for grades 3-6. I also thought freshman math Caruthersville
and has served as GED teacher for the St. Louis Public Schools.
I attended Font Bonne College where I received a MA
degree in Computers in Education. Currently I am working with the
Pattonville School District as a 6th grade math and reading teacher.
I am a divorcee and have one daughter, Keri, who is a
member of the St. Louis African Chorus. Keri joined the Chorus in 1997 and
I signed up to be a volunteer. I love to travel and God blessed me to tour
Africa and Brazil with the Chorus as Volunteer/Chaperone and part of the
Being a Volunteer for the chorus has allowed me to meet
a variety of people and broaden my knowledge of different cultures. I
enjoy working with all the volunteers, because we are like a close-knit
Born in Michigan, but have lived in St. Louis most of
my life. Live in the Carondelet Neighborhood of St. Louis, near
Loughborough and I-55. Have a lot of education, training, certifications,
etc., in the Information
And telecommunications systems field: education is
never-ending in this area, so I’m still at it to keep up to date - and I
enjoy it. Have been active in, and have served officerships in various
organizations, including the Data Processing Management Association, Phi
Theta Kappa International Honor Society for two year degree granting
institutions, and the Arts Commandos, the volunteer arm of the Regional
I work for the City of St. Louis, for the Community
Development Administration. This organization, the Planning and Design
Agency and the St. Louis Development Corporation together the City
Development Agencies, which are responsible for the housing and economic
development in St. Louis.
I work in the Information Systems area as a Technical
Specialist, at this point providing hardware and software technical
support, applications and systems development, training, and implementing
and working with sets of key operators and other specialists.
First got acquainted with the St. Louis African Chorus
through the Arts Commandos at the time of the Eritrean Wedding show at the
Sheldon. I took a great liking to all of the persons and to what they and
the Chorus do. I’m glad that the liking worked both ways, and still
does. From that time, I became a regular volunteer directly with the
Chorus and all of their doings.
It is enjoyable, enlightening, and fulfilling to be a
part of the activities of the chorus, to be with the other folks, and to
work as part of the volunteer group. So much so, in fact, that I am an
avid supporter and promoter, at work and wherever I go.
J. Justin Meehan
J. Justin Meehan, a local civil rights, entertainment
and personal injury lawyer has received many awards for his legal and his
commitment to civil rights multiculturalism and diversity. He is also a
nationally recognized writer and teacher of Tai Chi and Kung.
Adeoye Olukotun, M.D.
A native of Lagos, Nigeria, Dr. Olukotun is currently
Chief Executive Officer of CR Strategies, L.L.C. He began his career as
associate director at the Geisinger Clinic. He also worked for Pfizer,
Inc. and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Corporation. He served as vice president
for two divisions of the Bristol-Myers Squibb
Corporation. In 1996, he joined Mallinckrodt Inc. as Vice President,
Medical and Regulatory Affairs and Chief Medical Officer.
Oye’ earned his B.A. in Chemistry from the University
of North Carolina , his M.D. degree from the Albert Einstein College of
Medicine, and his M.P.H. from the Harvard University School of Public
Health . He has held academic appointments at the Mayo Clinic, Hershey
Medical School, and Yale University School of Medicine. He currently
serves as a fellow of the Councils on Radiology, Thrombosis, &
Vascular Diseases, the American Heart Association, the American College of
Cardiology, The American College of Chest Physicians, and the American
Society of Nuclear Cardiology. He is also a member of the American Medical
Association, the American Chemical Society, the American Academy of
Pharmaceutical Physicians, the American Society of Tropical Medicine
&Hygiene, the North American Society for Cardiac Imaging, Industrial
Research Institute, Inc. and the New York Academy of Science. He currently
serves as Chair of the Advisory Council of the Harvard Malaria Initiative,
serves on the Board of Directors of Bio Medical Systems , Inc. and Global
Biomedical Research, Inc., and is a member of the Overseers’ Committee
to Visit the Harvard School of Public Health. He has authorized over
thirty publications in scientific journals.
Oye and his wife, Judy, have three sons and live on a
small farm outside of Princeton, New Jersey.
My name is Carolyn Jones. My occupations is a computer
I first became associated with the St. Louis African Chorus in 1996.
The St. Louis African Chorus was having a workshop at Harris-Stowe
College, and a friend of mine, Ruth Smith had heard about the workshop
from a teacher she worked with, who planed on attending the workshop. At
the time I attended the same church as Ruth, and I was very much involved
with young girls and dance. Ruth thought we should attend the workshop, so
we contacted Fred and we all attended the workshop on a scholarship from
the St. Louis African Chorus. That was the beginning of a rewarding
experience. Since that time my involvement with the chorus has been a
dance director, singer, world traveler and volunteer, and I owe all of
this, to this wonderful organization. It has been so fulfilling. I would
encourage anyone to become a volunteer. Believe me, what you’ll
receive will be far more than you can contribute.
Jamie Spencer is a native St. Louisan. He is Assistant Professor of
English at the Florissant Valley campus of the St. Louis Community
College, where he has taught on an adjunct basis since 1977. He also is an
Adjunct English Instructor at the St. Charles County Community College. He
writes occasional book reviews for the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
He joined the board of the St. Louis African Chorus in the summer of
2000. He had served previously in several capacities on the Board of the
Bach Society of St. Louis, including several years as President. He serves
also as a Citizen Panelist on the Missouri Arts Commission’s
Multi-disciplinary Arts panel.
Each of these community leaders, and others not
included for lack of space, is to be credited with the successes of the
St. Louis African Chorus. As you must have noticed, some of them do double
duty by serving on our board of directors. They have helped to guide an
ambitious mission to avail our community of new mode of artistic
expression. They have helped to foster and propagate, as well as preserve
a unique art tradition.
As we enter our 2002/2003 season, we would like to
invite you to join these eminent St. Louisans and become a volunteer of
the St. Louis African Chorus. True, we need more hands to help stuff
envelopes; more people to help man our phones; to usher at concerts and
special events; and, oh yes, more great minds to help shoulder what we
like to call “a privileged responsibility…” The rewards are many,
paramount among which is the cultural enrichment gained by becoming
intimate with the African Chorus Project. Then, there’s also the usual
perks: free tickets and mementos, performing-member discount on concert
trips abroad. An African proverb says: more mouths feed when more farm the
land. This season make a commitment to the St. Louis African Chorus. To
join our Volunteers call Beverly Perry at 314-652-6800.
Again, our profound public gratitude for the hard work
and stellar contributions by these volunteers. The African Chorus Project
could never sing without your support.