Grambling State University choir leader bridges past and present through performance

Grambling State University choir leader bridges past and present through performance
For the last nine years, Natorshau Davis has led the Grambling State University choir, which has traveled all over the world. (Source: Natorshau Davis)

GRAMBLING, La. (KSLA) - For nine years, Natorshau Davis has led the Grambling State University Choir — and the group has performed all over the world.

Some of the choir’s most requested pieces are negro spirituals or African-American art songs. The month of February is especially meaningful to the historically black college.

BLACK HISTORY MOMENTS: Grambling State Choral Director Natorshau Davis

“Black History Month is very very busy for us,” Davis said. “Being that we are in the midst of a pandemic, this month we are going to put out our own virtual presentation.”

Davis said that her students have chosen certain voices that are inspirations in their lives — such as Dr. Martin Luther King and Harriet Tubman — among others.

“We are not going to actually hear their voices, but the students will portray their voices...” Davis said. “It is an honor of the voices of African Americans that are instrumental in my students’ lives, a quote, a speech, a word.”

When asked about old negro spirituals, she added that the songs have an underlying message about perseverance and encouragement.

Choir Director honors legends through music

“Yes, that message of hope, a message of ‘I can make it.’ I try not to use big words, We talk about wading in the water, traveling to freedom land,” Davis said. “I know some aspects that what is going on in our country right now those spirituals have come to life for them. They understand what it truly meant or what it meant to our forefathers or ancestors and that delivery is heard through their voices when they are singing.”

Prior to the pandemic, the choir was supposed to perform in Paris. They still plan to go.

To support the choir, donations can be sent in to:

Grambling State University Department of Music

Conrad Hutchinson Performing Arts Center

P. O. Box 4258

Grambling, LA 71245

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