On February 25, 2024, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Dillard University will host a special event at the Lawless Memorial Chapel, honoring Dr. S. Carver Davenport's significant 48-years as Concert Choir Director. Sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield, this celebration recognizes Dr. Davenport’s notable career as the longest-serving choral director among Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
Dr. Davenport, a lyric tenor and internationally recognized choral conductor, has been the dynamic force behind the celebrated Dillard University Choir. His directorship has garnered widespread acclaim, with memorable performances for Presidents Gerald Ford and Barack Obama. A significant aspect of Dr. Davenport's career includes his collaboration with the late Moses George Hogan, renowned concert pianist, conductor, and arranger.
Dr. Davenport was among the first singers selected by Hogan to form the New World Ensemble, and he also performed with the Moses Hogan Singers and the Moses Hogan Chorale, further solidifying his impact in the realm of choral music.
The event will feature the Dillard University Concert Choir, with performances by both current students and a gathering of over 115 alumni. This collective presentation is a direct reflection of Dr. Davenport’s extensive influence on Dillard’s musical tradition. In addition, alumni Dr. Valerie Jones Francis '83 and Dr. Jolisa Singletary '06 will contribute their talents to the program, showcasing the high caliber of graduates cultivated and under Dr. Davenport’s mentorship.
Adding a unique element to the event, Louisiana Poet Laureate and Conrad N. Hilton Endowed Professor of English at Dillard University, Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy, will present a special performance, merging poetry with the musical theme of the evening. Davenport's global influence extends to his work with the SKRUK CHORALE in Norway and leadership roles in large-scale choir performances at major events. He holds the Ray Charles Endowed Chair Professorship of Music at Dillard and serves as a minister of music at several churches.
This celebration is more than a tribute to Dr. Davenport’s distinguished career; it exemplifies the rich, diverse experiences fostered at Dillard University. Open to the public and free of charge, the event not only honors Dr. Davenport’s legacy but also supports the Choir’s spring concert tour. Dillard University invites the community, alumni, and supporters to join in this celebration, contributing to the ongoing excellence of the university's music program.