University Choir and Ensembles

The Winston-Salem State University Choir is one of the oldest student organizations on the campus of Winston-Salem State University. There is evidence to prove that the institution of the Choir predates the Department of Music, of which it is now a part. The University Choir is now under the leadership and baton of Maestra D'Walla Simmons-Burke. This University Choir has performed commissioned works, such as On Imagination and I Too (Undine Smith Moore); Recent Reflections on Deep River (Michael Williams); Come Sunday (arr. S. Van Dixon); Holdin’ On and Oh, What a Beautiful City (arr. Stacey Gibbs), to name a few. Under the leadership of Maestra Simmons-Burke, The Winston-Salem State University Choir has traveled both nationally and internationally (i.e. Bahamas; Czech Republic; West Africa and South Africa) recording and performing with major symphony orchestras such as the Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra; Gateways Festival Orchestra; D'Vorak Symphony Orchestra; Colour of Music Symphony Orchestra and the New England Symphony Orchestra, when major works are programmed (Handel’s Messiah; Mozart’s Requiem; Fauré’s Requiem; Berlioz’s Requiem; Hadyn’s Creation; and Rossini’s Stabat Mater).

Currently, The Winston-Salem State University Choir has recorded 8 compact disks under Maestra Simmons-Burke’s leadership (i.e. In Silent Night; I Wanna Be Ready; Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing; Hold Fast To Dreams; Somewhere Far Away; The Legacy Continues:20th Anniversary Celebration of D'Walla Simmons-Burke; Joy to the World and My God is a Rock) with one of them (Somewhere Far Away recorded in Prague, Czech Republic) published by a major recording label (Albany Records) and nominated for a Grammy Award in 5 categories.

The Choir has performed for several major music conferences and on national stages such as Carnegie Hall (NY), Lincoln Center (NY) and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, DC). The Winston-Salem State University Choir was one of the university choirs from North Carolina’s sixteen (16) state institutions invited to perform during the festivities of the inauguration of former Governor James B. Hunt. This Grammy-nominated choir is well sought after for its moving renditions of major choral works, spirituals, and world music.