Morgan State University Choir Visits SSFS


Jayla Bush, Staff Writer

Morgan State University is a known HBCU (historically black college and university) in Baltimore, Maryland. This prestigious university offers many clubs and extracurriculars besides those that center around academics. One of these groups is the Morgan State University Choir. They mainly sing in the gospel music genre. Over the years, the Morgan State University Choir has met many great people and performed on famous stages all over the world. Luckily, Sandy Spring Friends School had the opportunity of welcoming this great choir to its campus to perform for the annual Black History Month Assembly.

According to the choir’s website (, performing for Michelle and Barack Obama was one of the most legendary performances of The Morgan State University Choir. They were able to sing in the White House as a part of the PBS special, Music in the Gospel Tradition. The former first lady, Michelle Obama, personally requested for the choir to be involved in this event. Although the choir didn’t primarily sing alone, they did perform with great known performers. These great great American gospel performers included Shirley Caesar, Tamela Mann, and Aretha Franklin. 

The choir’s website (  also details their performance at a celebration of the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Memorial in Washington, DC, which was a remarkable and prominent event within their career. This is influential because Martin Luther king is a well known civil rights activist who fought for the rights of the black community. The choir singing at the unveiling of his memorial symbolizes the respect they have for these great African American figures.

In 2009, The Morgan State University Choir engaged in the Ihlombe International Choral Festival that is held in South Africa. This is an example of the many worldwide excursions the choir has taken. This festival exhibits and celebrates numerous cultures and traditions and includes performances, workshops and other creative activities. The performers, including The Morgan State University Choir, traveled all over South Africa and performed throughout these cities ( Their performance at this festival is significant because it shows their support for nations all over the world and not just places within the United States that have direct relation to them. 

It meant a lot to the SSFS community to get the opportunity to welcome and admire the performance of The Morgan State University. I had the opportunity to interview a student who is part of the African American community and get her thoughts on the performances. She was truly fascinated by the performance. Her exact words were, “I think that it was an amazing way to expose other cultures to the culture of blacks. Although only a one act assembly, it was mesmerizing to see the origins of black history in its relation to music. That is something that is so special about black heritage. Another aspect to the assembly I found fascinating was its touch on having the crowd engaged. It was not an assembly where you just sat around, it was one that reflected that blacks are ones who like to take part and be active in their expression of their culture.” She made some very great connections about this performance. She noted that it was a great opportunity for others outside the African American community to witness a part of the culture and for black students to learn more about their culture in relation to music. When asked what she felt about this year’s assembly in comparison to last year’s assembly she stated, “I loved seeing a collaboration between two black organizations that had the same goal: to educate new cultures.” By the two black organizations, she is indicating the black student body of SSFS and The Morgan State University Choir. Overall, SSFS was eternally grateful to witness The Morgan State University Choir in action and reflect upon the meaning of their visit with themselves and one another.