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Dr. Raymond Wise–A Gospel Experience: Building Community

October 13, 2019 @ 3:00 pm

Choral Residency Events

Thursday, October 10 Dr. Wise Rehearsal with UNO choirs at 2:15 p.m. – Open to the Public
Thursday, October 10 UNO Choral Department Concert at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, October 11 Dr. Wise visits area high schools
Saturday, October 12 Gospel Workshop and Rehearsal with Dr. Wise 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 13 Gospel Choral Concert at 3:00 p.m. at Countryside Community Church

About Dr. Raymond Wise

Raymond Wise, Ph. D., a native of Baltimore, Md., began his musical career at the age of three, singing gospel music with his family singing group “The Wise Singers.” Dr. Wise earned a B.F.A. in Music from Denison University (Granville, Ohio). He did additional studies in Opera, Art, and German at the Institute for European Studies in Vienna, Austria, and in African-American History, Music, and Dance at San Francisco State University in San Francisco, California.

He completed an apprenticeship in the business and recording of Gospel Music with the Walter Hawkins Corporation in Oakland, California. Dr. Wise earned a Masters in Music Education, Ohio Teacher’s Certification, and Doctorate in Music Education from The Ohio State University, with a dissertation titled Defining African American Gospel Music by Tracing its Historical and Musical Development from 1900 to 2000.

Dr. Wise currently serves on the faculty of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana where he serves as Professor of Practice in the African American African Diaspora Studies department and instructs courses in African American music. He is the Associate Director of the African American Arts Institute, an IU division devoted to the perpetuation and performance of African American music and art. Dr. Wise conducts the African American Choral Ensemble. He has also served on the faculties of The Ohio State University, Denison University, and Trinity Lutheran Seminary.

Dr. Wise is an ordained minister and has served as a church musician for more than 40 years. He has appeared on radio and television, recorded 22 albums, performed with opera singers, orchestras, dance companies and professional recording groups. He has toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia as a singer, pianist, composer, lecturer, choreographer and conductor for festivals. Dr. Wise recently performed at Carnegie Hall where he debuted one of his many compositions. Wise has penned more than 600 compositions. His works have been published by Hinshaw, GIA, Abingdon Press and the United Methodist Publishing House. His Anthology of 21 Spirituals for the 21st Century has received national and international acclaim. More than 200 of his compositions are available through the Raymond Wise Choral music series.

Wise is founder and President of Raise Productions’ Center for the Gospel Arts, a gospel music production and publishing company in Columbus, Ohio established to provide educational training and resources for gospel artists and the community. Wise has served as the artistic director of the various Raise performing ensembles since 1986 (

Dr. Wise served as the Co-Director and Director of the Hampton University Minister’s Conference Choir Directors’ and Organists’ Guild and Academy that provides intensive training in African American sacred music for church musicians. His knowledge of both the gospel and classical music genre has enabled him to serve as a consultant and clinician in academic and gospel music settings. Wise is known for helping choirs perform gospel music authentically. Dr. Wise currently serves as the Ethnic and American music Repertoire and Standards Chair for the American Choral Director’s Association Central Division.

Dr. Wise online

Watch a performance of “I’ll Stand” by Dr. Wise on YouTube

Watch Dr. Wise direct his composition “We’re Marching to Zion” on YouTube

About Dr. Fox

Dr. Fox
Dr. Derrick Fox is the Director of Choral Activities at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.  He earned a BME from Arkansas State University, a MM in Choral Conducting from the University of Missouri – Columbia and a DMA in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University, where he was awarded the prestigious University Enrichment Graduate Fellowship.

Dr. Fox has conducted all state choirs, honor choirs and led professional development workshops across the United States and internationally. His professional workshops focus on assessment in the choral classroom, building classroom community, rehearsal strategies, choral conducting techniques and shape note singing in the African American community. Dr. Fox has held teaching residencies at the Latvian Academy of Music and Syracuse University, led performance tours through Lithuania and Estonia as well as conducting the 2018 Texas All State MS/JH Honor Choir and the SWACDA 7 – 10 Men’s Honor choir. His recent engagements include presentations in Idaho, Nebraska, Kansas, New York, South Carolina, North Dakota; as well as conducting the Kentucky All State MS/JH Treble Choir, Hawaii All State Choir, Alabama All State Choir, New York All State MS/JH Choir, the Wisconsin Collegiate All State Choir and the National ACDA Middle School/Junior High Mixed Honor Choir. He was recently awarded the 2019 ACDA International Conductor Exchange Fellowship to South Africa and is the Artistic Director for the 2020 Perform International Madrid Choral Festival.

UNO Choir

As a baritone soloist, Dr. Fox has collaborated with various organizations; among them are the Arkansas Symphony, Lansing Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Columbia Chorale, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, University of Missouri, Michigan State University, Webster University and the Espaço Cultural (Brasilia, Brazil). He can be heard singing selections from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess on the compact disc In This Hid Clearing, available on the Naxos Classical Music label.

Dr. Fox serves on the National ACDA Diversity Subcommittee, the Missouri Music Educators Association Diversity Council, the Nebraska Music Educators Association Board and is the Collegiate Coordinator for Student Activities for Nebraska Choral Directors Association. As an author, he has written articles for many organizations and was a contributing author in the Hal Leonard/McGraw Hill choral textbook Voices in Concert. His compositions and arrangements are published by Hal Leonard and Brilee Music. His book, Yes You Can: A Band Director’s Guide to Teaching Choirs is published by Carl Fischer.

About Tiffany Williams, guest soloist


Tiffany is a native of Jackson,  MS. Currently, she is pursuing a Master of Music degree in voice performance from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, studying with Marietta Simpson.  She received her bachelor’s degree in piano and voice performance from Jackson State University, where she studied with Dr. Phyllis Lewis-Hale and Dr. Karen Laubengayer.

Tiffany made her debut with the Indiana University Opera Theatre in Fall 2015 as Sister Rose in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking.  She sang the role Joanna in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, for Heidi Grant-Murphy’s opera workshop.  She was also featured as the soprano soloist in Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music with the IU summer chorus. Other performances include the role Nella in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi with the Mississippi Opera Company and Barbarina and Susanna (cover) in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro with Blooming Voce Workshop. 

Tiffany has received several awards at competitions such as the 105 Voices Competition at the Washington National Opera, The Classical Singer Magazine competition, NATS, and MMTA. Her international accomplishments include touring in Germany as a soloist with Indiana University’s African American Chorale Ensemble and Spain with soprano, Bridget Bazille. 

About Daniel Faronbi, piano

As a jazz pianist in the Omaha area, Daniel is dedicated to merging his different experiences as a musician into a cogent performance or composition. Growing up, he mainly played in church. Later, he started attending the University of Nebraska at Omaha to study music technology. As a result, Daniel has received training in audio engineering, audio production, jazz piano, and classical piano. He hopes that each side of his musical upbringing will be represented in all of his performances.




About Sawyer Martin, guitar

Sawyer Martin is a multi-instrumentalist/composer who has spent the last 10 years in a variety of musical settings.  While studying vocal performance at UNO, he also played drums in an original music band called Kaloko, and played bass for Charm School Dropouts, a local cover band.  After finishing school, he began to compose in a number of genres, from blues rock and ballad music to jazz fusion and progressive rock. He has written three full-length albums, each showcasing one or more of the aforementioned genres in a more complete setting.  During this time, he began to play guitar, bass, and drums in pit orchestras for several local theatres, including the Bellevue Little Theater, the Blue Barn Theatre, and the Omaha Community Playhouse (most notably guitar in Rock of Ages and the award-winning Murder Ballad).  He currently works as a Construction Supervisor for Habitat for Humanity of Omaha, and continues to compose in the realm of ambient guitar music.



About Brandon Armstrong, drums

Brandon Armstrong is a percussionist born and raised in Bellevue, Nebraska.  He spends a lot of his time teaching private lessons to aspiring artists, who want to grow at their instrument and take their playing to the next level.  Brandon plays locally in theatre productions and with other local groups such as Nation and B.E.D. Trio. Brandon enjoys all genres and styles of music as he believes, art can be made in a variety of ways in many different settings.    


October 13, 2019
3:00 pm


Countryside Community Church
13130 Faith Plaza
Omaha, 68144 United States
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