A Spritual Encounter with Alice Parker

Alice ParkerDuring the first week of May 2003, Alice Parker's visit to Champaign-Urbana touched the lives of hundreds of people. We listened, we sang and we made music. She taught us how to rediscover the spirit and meaning within the music.

On Friday evening Alice conducted one of her famous "Sings" at the Parkland Theatre at Parkland College. A large diverse crowd was welcomed by members of The CHORALE who hosted the event. The theme of the evening's entertainment centered on the origins of hymns from around the world, including: Ghana, Zaire, Argentina, Israel, the Phillippines, and American folk hymns. We were reminded of the importance that text, melody and rhythm contribute in producing meaningful music. Many of us took our turn at improvising with vocal percussion. The event was free and open to the public.

Lift Every VoiceOn Saturday Alice conducted a workshop at the First Baptist Church of Champaign in Savoy. Participants came from all over Illinois to attend this event focused on techniques for improving the potential of singers at any level. The workshop was titled "Lift Every Voice" and was open to all conducters, directors and singers. Ms. Parker's clear and consistent approach to vocal music was enlightening and uplifting.

On Sunday morning, Ms. Parker appeared at Faith United Methodist Church on S. Prospect in Champaign. She spoke about hymnody—the writing and singing of hymns—and then led the congregation in song.

On Sunday evening, The CHORALE presented its annual Young Artist Scholarship Concert during which Ms. Parker conducted The CHORALE with Ollie Watts Davis in several of her well known spiritual arrangements from the "Take Me to the Water" series. 2003 Scholarship winner Tom Siders performed Sonata for Trumpet and Piano by Kent Kennan. Previous scholarship winners performing during the concert included Andreas Stoltzfus, Adelaide Muir and Jim Siders.

Young Artist Scholarship 2003
Alice Parker conducts The CHORALE with Ollie Watts Davis

audio Take Me to the Water -- audio clip (MP3, 700K)

audio Sing Me to Heaven -- audio clip (MP3, 700K)

What Others Have Said

BookAlice Parker has delighted groups worldwide with her love of music and her unique gift for bringing out the best in vocal performance. She focuses on what, for her, is the heart of vocal music — the melody. Comments from participants in her workshops and “sings” consistently reflect their enthused responses:


“She embodies both ends of the musical spectrum—excellent professional performance . . . and the kind of community singing that was taken for granted a century ago.”

“That was such fun!”

“One revelation . . . was the near-orchestral, room-filling richness. . . . the heavens practically opened up.”

“There is no one who is not a singer when she leads.”

You can learn more about Alice Parker at http://www.aliceparker.com and her organization Melodious Accord, Inc. at http://www.melodiousaccord.org.

Other Weekend Pictures

Julie and Alice
Julie and Alice

Alice Parker Photo
Alice Parker

Alice and Julie
Alice, Julie and the CAR.
touching the spirit... enriching us all