Glee Club sings for college scholarshipsOct 7, 2019
By Ashley Mahoney
The Charlotte Post
You are your brother's keeper.
The Morehouse College National Alumni Association Charlotte Chapter Scholarship Fund emphasizes that. The need-based scholarship will be awarded to a Charlotte area student for the 2020-21 academic schoolyear. A one night only performance by the Morehouse Glee Club with the Charlotte Symphony will take place at Belk Theater on Oct. 10 at 7:30 p.m. to benefit the scholarship. They will perform works such as "Betelehemu," "Brothers, Sing On!" and Beethoven's Fidelio Overture.
"The mission of the Charlotte Symphony revolves around access access to world-class music, access to our musicians for all people, and access to the emotional power available in shared experiences," Charlotte Symphony resident conductor Christopher James Lees said. "Access can also be in the form of enabling scholarships for deserving students to a phenomenal institution like Morehouse. We are so proud to be participating in this collaboration, and know it will truly be a meaningful experience for every single person in the audience."
According to the Durham-based Center for Responsible Lending, North Carolinians' outstanding student debt--private and federal--increased 286 percent between 2008 and 2018, from $15.4 billion to nearly $44 billion.
"A lot of students are burdened with debt before they can graduate, or they are burdened with student loans when they do," said Steve Clincy president of the Charlotte Morehouse Alumni Chapter. "This is a need-based scholarship, so any student from the greater Charlotte area can apply for the scholarship. We're just trying to do our part, especially after [billionaire tech investor] Robert Smith paid off all of those students student debt this past year. It made all of us want to step up and do our part as well."
Smith's gift to over 400 Morehouse graduates totals $34 million.
"Morehouse teaches you about the brotherhood," Clincy said. "Each brother, we are supposed to take care of each other first. That is instilled in you from day one. It starts in the classroom. Then once we've graduated, it goes to our community, to our families, to the world--that's just our responsibility as graduates of Morehouse."
The Atlanta based institution has a storied glee club history, including performances at Super Bowl XXVIII, the 1996 Olympic Games opening and closing ceremonies and regular appearances with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
"When you hear of Morehouse Glee Club, everyone knows the song 'Betelehemu,'" Clincy said. "Before my mom [Mattie Clincy Cheeks] passed, she would listen to the Glee Club on PBS. When I got to go to the school, it was awesome to experience them in real-time, and then when I graduated in 1999, for my mom to be there and see them--just to see her face was awesome, because that organization means a lot to the community and to the school."