December 15, 2017

Susquehanna University will commemorate the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with its annual Winter Convocation at 7 p.m. Jan. 24 in Degenstein Center Theater. The event, featuring Vy Higginsen’s Sing Harlem Choir, is free and open to the public.

The award-winning choir was formed out of the Gospel for Teens program (GFT) founded in 2006 by legendary radio personality and producer Vy Higginsen to be the breakout choir for The Mama Foundation for the Arts school. Over the years under the direction of Ahmaya Knoelle Higginson and Elijah Ahmad Lewis, the choir has grown to be a highly respected and influential force in the New York gospel scene, producing not only great vocalists, but top-notch global citizens.

Sing Harlem Choir has performed at many prestigious venues, programs and concerts across America, including the Congressional Black Caucus, the Stellar Awards, New York Fashion Week, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center and concerts across America with artists including Madonna, Ariana Grande, Pharrell, and Chance the Rapper.

Sing Harlem Choir has also appeared on 60 Minutes, The View, the Rockefeller Tree Lighting, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, ABC This Week and Saturday Night Live.

Higginsen is a noted author, playwright, radio and TV personality. In 1983, she co-wrote, produced and directed the classic black Gospel musical Mama I Want To Sing!, which ran for eight years and 2,200 performances at the Off-Broadway Heckscher Theater in East Harlem. The show ran for two national and international tours and played for six months on the West End of London.

In 1988, Higginsen co-produced Joe Turner’s Come and Gone by August Wilson on Broadway. In 2002, Higginsen was ordained as an Interfaith minister. Led by her passion for the sounds and music she grew up hearing, she conceived and created Alive!, which documents the sounds, music and stories of the black American musical landscape. Higginsen continues to write and produce original work as the executive director of the Emmy Award-winning Mama Foundation for the Arts in Harlem, New York City, N.Y.