Jennifer D. Ancrum, soprano, was educated in the Charleston County school system. Her extensive musical background began with Piano lessons at the age of 8. She then began to play the Cello at the age of 9, the Trombone and Organ at age 11 and began singing at the age of 16, where she sang in the church choir and a high school show choir group, The Middleton Singers. She attended the University of South Carolina while pursuing her Bachelor's Degree in Applied Mathematics she performed with the Carolina Band, and sang with Carolina Alive, where they performed for many local celebrities, including former governors; Carol Campbell and David Beasley and former Ms. South Carolina, Kimberly Aiken.
As an emerging singer in the Carolinas, she has performed steadily in the areas of opera, gospel, oratorio and many local weddings. In 2001, she joined the South Carolina Symphonic Chorale (SCSC), located in Columbia, SC, under the direction of Tim Koch. She made her solo debut in December of that year with the Bach Magnificat; where she performed the “Et exsultavit” and Soprano I of the “Suscepit Israel”. The same year she joined Hermon Presbyterian Church, in Rock Hill, SC as the Minister of Music and made her solo debut with the Rock Hill Ecumenical Chorale under the direction of D. Jeffery Sligh, where she performed “Ave Maria”. In 2002, she joined the Charleston Symphony Orchestra (CSO) Gospel Choir, located in Charleston, SC, under the direction of Vivian E. Jones. As a member and featured soloist, she has performed such solos as, “Give Me a Clean Heart”, Moses Hogan’s, “Glory to the Newborn King”, “Lead Me Lord” & “If I Can Help Somebody”. In 2005, the SCSC changed its name to the Columbia Choral Society and under the direction of Will Carswell; Ms. Ancrum performed one of the featured solos in Camille Saint Saen’s Christmas Oratorio. In 2008 A new organization, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Spiritual Ensemble was formed and Jennifer is currently a founding member and soloist. In 2010 she joined Lowcountry Voices, located in North Charleston, SC, under the direction of Nathan Nelson and Sandra Barnhardt. In 2013 the CSO Gospel Choir & Spiritual Ensemble changed its name to Charleston Gospel Choir & Charleston Spiritual Ensemble. In 2015, under the direction of D.J. Boyd, Jennifer joined the Queen City Singers of Charlotte, NC.
She has traveled and performed abroad with the CSO Gospel Choir and Spiritual Ensemble, she has toured Vienna, Austria; Prague, Czech Republic; Leipzig, Germany; Florence, Rome, Pisa & Milan, Italy; England; France; Ghana & Accra West Africa. In July of 2015, she traveled and performed in Bermuda with Lowcountry Voices and In July of 2017 they will travel to Canada and perform.
For four years in Columbia, SC, she studied privately under Dr. Richard Conant, prior to relocating to York, SC in April 2006. While in York, she has studied privately under Kay Irmiter for two years and one year with The Lesson Studio, where she also began to play the Bass and Electric Guitar. She is currently studying under Tina Booth with Musicians in Motion. Her future goals include performing as the feature soloist in the Carmina Burana and recording her own gospel and classical CDs.
While maintaining her position at Wells Fargo as an Analytics Consultant, and as Minister of Music at Hermon Presbyterian Church, she is actively involved with the Charleston Gospel Choir, Charleston Spiritual Ensemble, Lowcountry Voices, the Rock Hill Ecumenical Chorale, Queen City Singers and continues to perform in Weddings. She has two beautiful and musically talented daughters, Jenaé and Jennelle Horton.
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Viola was born on January 15, 1948 to the proud parents of Alexander and Mary Ravenel on 81 Hanover Street, Charleston, South Carolina. Her father was a retired Naval Shipyard worker and her mother retired from Superior Laundry. She is the middle child of five. She received her early education at Daniel Jenkins and Mary Ford Elementary school. She went on to Bonds-Wilson High School where she graduated in 1967.
During her early schools years, she worked at Superior from the tender age of 13. She was there until she went to Swinton Laundry. She also worked at Dixie Diner after school. She later went to work for the Naval Station as a telephone operator. In 1982, she went on to the apprenticeship program at Charleston Naval Shipyard as an insulator until their closing. She also worked for AGFA Corporation until she retired in 2008. She is now employed as a caregiver for Homeinstead Senior Care.
Her education includes:
· Tongue Point Job Corps Center, Astoria, Oregan
· Linfield College, McMinniville, Oregon
· Ashworth University, Norcross, GA
· Trident Technical College, Clemente Program
· Charleston Baptist Church Precepts by Precepts Biblical Studies, Ambassador College
· Bible Study Fellowship, International Seminary
She was licensed and ordained at Community Baptist Church.
Civic Activities Include:
· Community Baptist Church where I have served as the President of the Missionary Ministry
· Church teacher
· Junior Usher President
· Senior Choir President and Director
· Financial Secretary
· Youth Ministry Council
· Chairperson and Founder of the J. Z. Gibson Memorial Scholarship Fund
· Associate Minister
· Sunday School Superintendent
Copper River Baptist Association:
· Served as Vice President then President of the Choir that comprised of 26 churches in our association
· Organized and founded the Sensational Ravenel Gospel Singers
· Sensational Traveling Echoes, An All-Male group dating back to 1946 where I sing and serve as secretary and treasurer.
· St James RMUE Church Organized and founded the Gospel Delights Gospel Singers
· Charleston Symphony Gospel Choir, where I sang and served as section leader
· Lowcountry Voices, where I sang and was a member
· Missionary to the Philippines where I ministered to the residences and prepared care packages to all that we fed from village to village
· Program Director for McDougal Correctional Center where I was in charge of bringing program to the center
· Plantations Singers and Spiritual Gospel Singers are Gullah groups that preserves the old songs of the Lowcountry
Received Numerous Award from different organizations spanning over forty years.
Made by acting debut in “The Amen Corner” with Art Forms and Theater concepts, where we did 13 performances.
I consider myself to be dedicated and goal oriented with experience in carrying out duties that are specified by the church, Job and Civic organizations. Proficient in carrying out programs based on the need. Effective in providing leadership and direction to members and encourages them to their highest level.
My favorite scripture is Proverbs 3:5-6:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
My favorite song is: “No, Not One”
WILLIS BLUME AGENCY, Orangeburg, SC
- Performed Beach and Pop music on the East Coast with “The Mighty Kicks” Band while in college.
- Toured under the USO/DOD banner, entertaining our troops in Panama, Honduras, Greece, Spain, Turkey, Morocco and Italy.
PREMONITION, Columbia, SC
- Founding member of all girl group, created and organized song lists and hiring musicians.
- Toured under the USO/DOD banner in Korea, Japan, Hawaii and Guam.
- Traveled nationally in Las Vegas, Chicago, New York, Atlanta and Detroit.
- Sang backup for Earth, Wind and Fire’s lead singer Philip Bailey.
CHARLESTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA GOSPEL CHOIR, Charleston, SC
- Joined in 2002- lead soloist and the soprano section leader for nine years.
- Traveled to Austria, Vienna, Prague and Germany.
- Sung with the CSO and the CSO Choir for Piccolo Spoleto in two productions of “Porgy and Bess.”
SPIRITUALLY YOURS, Charleston, SC
- Founding member of a Capella gospel and spiritual group that performs for private and public events.
LOWCOUNTRY VOICES, Charleston, SC
- Lead vocalist for diversified Gospel choir. Performed with North Charleston Pops! in Broadway Rocks and in a selected group of singers for The Legend of Zelda.
FEATURED SOLOIST, Charleston, SC
- Grace Episcopal Church, St. Mark Episcopal Church and Mt. Zion AME Church under the leadership of Wayne French and Alphonso Brown
MOVIES, TELEVISION, THEATRE AND DOCUMENTARIES
THE WISE KIDS, Charleston and Chicago
- Appeared in the motion picture production as part of the Church Ensemble , Stephen Cone Productions 2011
ARMY WIVES, Charleston, SC
- Appeared in six scenes on the Lifetime Network’s season finale for 2008-2012.
SEARCH, Charleston, SC
- Performed in singing scene in the Brad Jayne documentary about an autistic boy’s drowning case.
LITTLE HAM, Art Forms & Theatre Concepts, Inc.
- Sang, danced and acted in the musical play by Langston Hughes as part of the 2007 Moja Festival.
JOE TURNER’S COME AND GONE, Art Forms & Theatre Concepts, Inc
- Acted in the drama play by August Wilson as part of the 2007 Piccolo Spoleto Festival.
EUBIE!, Art Forms & Theatre Concepts, Inc.
- Sang and danced in the musical adaptation of Eubie Blake’s music scores as part of the 2009 PiccoloSpoleto Festival.
RENT, White Tuxedo Production
- “Seasons of Love” soloist- Sang, danced and acted as part of the Ensemble with an all New York cast.
ABSOLUTELY ANDREW: A Musical Tribute to the Life of Andrew Lloyd Webber
The Youth Orchestra of the Lowcountry along with Lawson Roberts
-Only local performer chosen to perform with an all New York cast for a fund raiser for the YOLO.
Mrs. Joyce C. Taylor is a Charleston native by way of Awendaw, South Carolina. She attended Immaculate Conception School and completed her high school education at Charles A. Brown High School in 1972. She furthered her education through numerous college and commuter courses.
Mrs. Taylor retired at the beginning of 2004 bearing the title of the First Combat Squadron Commander’s Executive Assistant from the Charleston Air Force Base, having been employed as a federal worker for 32 years.
Mrs. Taylor is a devoted member of the Greater Zion A.M.E, Church in Awendaw, SC where she joined the church and community in 1975. Since then, she has faithfully served on many boards and auxiliaries and is currently the Leader of Class #12, past President of the Eva White Missionary Society, Past Director of the GZAME Young Adult Mass Choir, past director for the Keith Gospelaires and is presently a liaison/director and chorister assisting with the music for the Voices of Zion Choir. She holds the position of Worship Director for the Palmetto Conference Missionary Society. Her love for music is reflected by the number of choirs she is affiliated with.
In the community, Mrs. Taylor visits the sick and volunteers to assist them with their personal needs. She is a volunteer with the Women In Rural Electrification (W.I.R.E.); a former member of the East Cooper Interdenominational Mass Choir, Charleston Actors Theatre Society where she performed in the Piccolo Spoleto plays, “Ain’t Misbehavin” and “Bubbling Brown Sugar”. She furthered her acting career with ARTFORMS Theater Company and played the role of Mrs. Odessa in the Piccolo Spoleto play “Amen Corner”. Joyce is called upon quite frequently to MC programs because of her humorous and spirited demeanor. She is presently a chartered member and featured soloist with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Gospel Choir, who has traveled to Germany, Czech Republic, Paris, Italy and other countries abroad spreading gospel music to the inhabitants and being given the honor to sing in their cathedrals. She is also a member of The Charleston Gospel Chorale and The Spiritually Yours Ensemble. Just recently, she joined the Lowcountry Voices, a newly formed gospel group based in North Charleston, SC.
Mrs. Taylor is affiliated as Conductress with Boaz Chapter #366, Order of Eastern Star and a member of the Professional Women of America. She is the owner of Taylor-Made Basquettes, Etc. designing gift baskets for special occasions. Lately, Mrs. Taylor has added Gullah presentations to her repertoire of talents. She has been honored by several church, civic and community organizations for her outstanding contribution to the Charleston area. With the help of God, she is presently in the process of cutting her first CD sometime towards the end of the year.
She loves the Lord wholeheartedly and is fully committed to working with and mentoring children, constantly seeking avenues for their advancement, encouraging them to “Seek Ye first, the kingdom of heaven and all other things will be added unto them because we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us”.
She is the eldest of eight children. Mrs. Taylor and her husband, Deputy Chief of Police Jerome Taylor are the proud parents of four daughters, and seven grandchildren.