Good morning Cincinnati and happy February to you all! Of course it’s black history month, and I’ll be informing and inspiring you all with facts and stories. Today I came across something that even myself was unaware of.
Gospel artist Donald Lawrence was born in Charlotte NC, and is well known for his work with the Tri-City singers (Tri-City being Spartanburg, Gastonia, and Charlotte North Carolina). Did you know Donald has some ties to the Cincinnati area? In 1981, he graduated with a BFA in music at UC’s College Conservatory of Music. While he was in Cincinnati, Donald was the minister of music at the Southern Baptist Church on Reading Road.
Not only was he involved with music, he also got involved with Playhouse in the Park in Mt. Adams. Donald brought his music to the production of Sing Hallelujah, which premiered in Cincinnati twice, New York, and Chicago. This is what Donald said in an interview on blackgospel.com.
Sing Hallelujah was a piece of work developed when I was still in school in Cincinnati with my professor, Worth Gardner. We were actually working on another piece which required Gospel music to fall into certain segments of the play. Anyways, my professor was overwhelmed with the music that I introduced. He asked me, “How many more pieces did I have?” I told him, “I had a number of original compositions and lots of music that I knew from other incredible composers.” So from there, the production – Sing Hallelujah – developed for a long period of time.
Of course, Donald has come a long way from CCM, having success with his collaborations with the Tri-City singers to his recent solo album with the hit, “back 2 eden”. You can add Donald Lawrence to the roster of many successful music artists that have come from Cincinnati!