Western Michigan University's Live and Interactive series continues at 7:30 pm Wednesday, Feb 19 with a performance by guest artist John Wesley Wright. A tenor who can switch between opera, Broadway, and American styles, he will be joined by WMU voice faculty and student ensembles for a concert called Spirituals: From Ship To Shore.
In an interview with Cara Lieurance, also including Dr. Ken Prewitt, a professor of voice at WMU, Wright talks about working with Western students in his residency, and teaching them to perform spirituals without sheet music. Wright and Prewitt preview some of the concert's highlights, and Wright talks about how his desire to be a performer began in childhood, when he saw the television series Fame. A member of the American Spiritual Ensemble for 14 years, he credits Ysaÿe Barnwell of Sweet Honey in the Rock and singer Linda Tillery as personal and professional influences.