The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, Washington National Opera, and NEWorks Productions present


Curated by Nolan Williams Jr., Chief Music Editor, African American Heritage Hymnal

Don’t miss this opportunity to blend your voice singing spirituals with an august gathering of choirs and community participants from across the region. Register yourself, your friends, or your choir TODAY at For more information, email 

The Community-wide Spirituals Sing is a community engagement event presented in conjunction with the WNO production of The Washington Opera "Appomattox" 

Saturday, November 14–Sunday, November 22, 2015

Kennedy Center Opera House

To mark 50 years since the passage of the Voting Rights Act and 150 years since the end of the Civil War, WNO presents the world premiere revised version of Philip Glass’s acclaimed opera featuring a brand-new second act.


Tickets also available at the Box Office. Groups call (202) 416-8400.

2016 Vocal Competition

2016 Scholarship Competition: Year of the Voice

The 2016 Vocal Scholarship Competition has three phases: local, regional, and national. You must be at least age 18 at the time of your application, but NOT older than 30 before August 20th 2016. Applications must be submitted by February 21, 2016 for consideration. Return three (3) copies this application, fee of $35.00 (non-refundable) and proof of age to: The National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc. • PO Box 51669 • Durham, NC 27717. Fee is payable to The National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc. Information for the local phase for Washington, D.C. is listed below.

(Age requirement 18-30)

Application Materials:
• Completed Application
• CD of three pieces:
-Aria & Art song in Italian, German or French
• Head shot
• 35.00 application fee

Please send to BHMB Post Office box 60722, Washington D.C. 20039.

Applications and fees must be in by January 15, 2016.

Contestants that are eligible will be contacted by phone and/or email from the competition committee.

February 20, 2016 (Preliminary)
March 12, 2016 (Final)

Remembering Charlotte Wesley Holloman (1922-2015)

Charlotte Wesley Holloman was born on March 24, 1922 in Georgetown, Washington D.C., into a loving, educated and musical family. She is the daughter of Florence Louise Johnson Wesley, an English teacher and socialite, of Baltimore, Maryland and Charles Harris Wesley, an accomplished historian and minister of Louisville, Kentucky. She had one sibling, a sister named Louise Johnson Wesley.

Mrs. Holloman began her elementary studies at Miners Teacher’s College. However, she spent her third grade year in London, England at Regents Park Public Elementary School and the Guildhall School of Music as a result of her father receiving a Guggenheim Fellowship for historical research there. Mrs. Holloman next attended Garnett Patterson Junior High School and graduated from Dunbar High School in 1937.

Mrs. Holloman entered Howard University at the age of fifteen and continued her studies in piano, which she had initiated at the age of three. An unexpected encounter with Professor Todd Duncan during her senior year introduced her to the world of classical voice and established a lifelong mentorship between her and Duncan. Mrs. Holloman had her premier voice recital at Howard University to fulfill a graduation requirement during the spring of her senior year. Despite the nervousness she faced singing in front of her parents for the first time, she discovered a new interest in singing.

Mrs. Holloman was a soror in the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, and was awarded two titles while in college; Homecoming Queen and Miss Collegiate America. Mrs. Holloman graduated cum laude from Howard University with a Bachelor of Music.

Mrs. Holloman held several different occupations after graduating including employment with the Federal Government, as a teacher of various grade levels in Philadelphia and New York City, and as head of operations in her husband’s private medical practice among others. Meanwhile, she kept up her musical talents.

In November of 1950, she appeared in her first Broadway role at the Broadhurst Theater in the Langston Hughes-Jan Meyerowitz musical drama The Barrier which was based on Mulatto. She has also worked closely with Noble Sissle, Eubie Blake, and Flournoy Miller in their revival of the musical comedy Shuffle Along in May of 1952. She appeared in Charles Friedman’s musical play My Darlin’ Aida at the Winter Garden Theater in New York City from October of 1952 through January of 1953.

The lyric soprano had her first official voice debut at her Town Hall recital in New York City on February 25, 1954, which received favorable reviews from the New York Times. In October of 1955, she landed a television appearance as a singer in Harry Belafonte’s vocal chorus for the song Will His Love Be Like His Rum? She once worked in Harlem singing background vocals for James Brown.

Mrs. Holloman earned her Master of Arts in Voice and Music Education from Columbia University. She toured in concert with Margaret Bonds and Todd Duncan in the U.S. and the Bahamas, singing excerpts from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Their concert in Bermuda had the first interracial audience in the island’s history.

Mrs. Holloman was the featured soloist with the Dayton Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, and at The Berkshire Music Festival. She was a cast member in the road company of Carmen Jones.

In 1961 she received the Martha Baird Rockefeller Foundation Grant to pursue voice studies with top instructors in Europe. She was contracted by the Saarbruecken and Essen Opera Companies in Germany. She established a repertoire of 22 leading roles through her creation of major operatic characters in more than 13 operas in Germany, England and Italy. (bio provided by

Services for:
Charlotte Wesley Holloman

Thursday, August 6, 2015
Dumbarton Campus- Howard University Law School
2900 Van Ness St NW
Washington, DC 20008

10:00 am - Visitation (to be confirmed)

11:00 - Funeral Service

It is almost time for the 96th Annual Convention of NANM!

The 96th Annual Convention of the National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc. begins Sunday, July 19 with the opening Mass Meeting at Shiloh Baptist Church, located in Washington, D.C. at 9th and P Street NW at 3:00pm. The program will feature the Shiloh Choir, The Artist Group Chorale of Washington, Washington Women's Chorale, Mt. Carmel Baptist Choir and talent representing the various regions of the organization. Approaching its 5th year, the Ben Holt Memorial Branch of NANM serves as the convention's host chapter. Currently under the leadership of President Kelvin Page, the branch was named after Metropolitan Opera baritone Ben Holt. A special highlight at the convention will be the unveiling of the new book "Ben Holt: Apostle of Musical Enlightenment" as told by his mother, Mayme Wilkins-Holt, to Nevilla E. Ottley.

Below are some event highlights.

Monday, July 20, 2015, 7:30pm. GALA CONCERT - featuring Leon Bates, Richard Smallwood, Pianists, Asha Lindsey, Kenneth Kellogg and Kevin Short , International Opera Stars, accompanied by Cliff Jackson and hosted by legendary soprano Martina Arroyo, venue NCCC, 14th and Thomas Circle, NW. Tickets are $40.00

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 8:00pm D.C. ARTISTS NIGHT

Featuring outstanding artists of Washington D.C. featuring -Dr. Raymond Jackson, Yvonne Huntley, Rosemarie Jones, Karen Marie-Egypt, Latonya Wrenn, Pianists. Angeli Jemilda Ferrette, soprano, Antonio Chase, tenor, Ceylon Mitchell II, flute Excerpts from the Life and Struggles of Nelson Mandela by Karen Michele Walwyn with the Artist Group Chorale, Washington Women's Chorale and Mt. Carmel Baptist Combined Choirs Leona Lowery, Kelvin Page, Director's William Jones, Accompanist

The Sheraton Hotel 8777 Georgia Avenue Silver Spring Maryland. Tickets are $20.00

In addition, various workshops will be held at the conference hotel beginning Monday, July 20th-23rd $10.00 per session. Offerings include

Master Classes with Richard C Alston, Leon Bates and Karen Walwyn

Vocal Master Classes with Martina Arroyo

Robert Sims Collegiate afternoon Concerts of Instrumental and Vocal music.

Daniel Washington, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, coordinator

The Youth Division Orchestra Concert

YOUTH Leadership workshop with Terrence Bradford Tarver of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Gospel Improvisations Workshop with Byron J Smith Junior Choir in a Flash Concert featuring Children's Choir of Ben Holt Memorial Branch, Linda Campbell, Director, Ariel Elizabeth Shelton, Youth Orchestra Nevilla E. Ottley School of Music Youth Choir!

Great news!!! Ben Holt's biography, "Ben Holt Apostle of Musical Enlightenment" is available for presale!

A special highlight at the 96th Annual NANM Convention will be Ben Holt's biography, "Ben Holt Apostle of Musical Enlightenment" as told by his mother, Mayme Wilkins-Holt to Nevilla E. Ottley. It is available for presale now at!/Ben-Holt-Hardcover/p/52319769.

A Mother’s Celebration of the Incredible Talent and Life of Her Son

What Goes Into Making a Musical Genius?

Mayme Wilkins Holt opens up her heart to share the incredible story of her son, musician and singer Ben Holt. Holt recounts the joys and challenges of being a single mother and raising a gifted child.

Filled with photos from Ben’s life, this book is not only a biography of a talented musician who was taken too soon, but is also a musical journey. Holt shows us how her son first developed a passion for music, but also struggled, at first, with the rigors of having to count the beat of each note. Though he played several instruments, Ben’s voice was his greatest musical gift. Ben would graduate from Juilliard and go on to have a successful career as a vocal and performing artist, being featured in several great classical music and operatic performances, including Metropolitan Opera Company.

At the tragically young age of 26, Ben was diagnosed with cancer. After treatment, the disease went into remission. But, Ben knew he was on borrowed time.

During the next eight years of his life, Ben accomplished more, loved more, and lived more than most people fit into lives that stretch long into retirement. One of the most remarkable parts of Ben’s story is that it didn’t end with his untimely death at age 34. Instead, Ben’s legacy continues through the people he touched, in his brief life, who have helped to use his work and his story to bless many, more lives.

Join a mother as she takes you on an incredible journey of love, talent, and tragedy. Once you start reading Ben’s story, you won’t be able to stop turning the page.


Let's Congratulate Teisha Marie, one of Prince George's County's 40 Under 40 in 2015!

Teisha Marie McKie was recently named as a 2015 Forty UNDER 40 Prince George’s County fellow in the area of Arts and Humanities! The 2015 Forty UNDER 40 class consisting of extraordinary residents, all under the age of 40, are an incredible representation of the rich talent the County has to offer in the areas of Arts & Humanities, Business, Education, Health & Fitness, Public Service, and Science & Engineering. Our aim is to highlight their contributions and encourage even more civic engagement in Prince George’s County. The honorees were nominated by individuals and organizations from across the region; and they were vetted and selected by representatives from the PGCSIF Advisory Board, prior Forty UNDER 40 Honorees, and the Prince George’s County Chamber of Commerce. This cohort represents the NOW generation for Prince George’s County, as they are leaders in their respective areas of influence right NOW!

Come support Angeli Ferrette in Concert on Friday, October 17, 2014!

The Ben Holt Memorial Branch, Inc.'s Corresponding Secretary, Angeli Ferrette will be participating in a CAAPA sponsored concert with Laree Simon - Soprano and LaTonya Wrenn- Pianist. The concert  will be held at Fort Foote Baptist Church- 8310 Fort Foote Road, Fort Washington, MD 20744.  The concert will include arias, art song and spirituals from composers, Handel, Purcell, Puccini, Owens and many more. 

"Singer's Workshop" presented by NANM's Ben Holt Memorial Branch

On Saturday, July 12, 2014, at 1 p.m.,The NANM Ben Holt Memorial Branch presenteda "Singer's Workshop", a professional development career workshop with distinguished panelist Charlotte Holloman, Marquita Lister, and Thomas Beard.  During this free and open to the public workshop attendees had the opportunity to gain insight on career paths, auditions, repertoire, and interviewing with conductors. 



Sixth Presbyterian Church 

5413- 16th Street, N.W. 

Washington, D.C. 20011