Instructor Ulysses Slaughter in performance. Photo credit: G.N. Miller.
Ulysses Slaughter served as our vocal instructor from 2001-2008. He expressed his musical talent in churches, jazz clubs, and on stage with equal dignity and ease. Although we miss him, his legacy enriches us still. This scholarship fund was started by a fellow musician. If you would like to donate online to the scholarship fund, please use the button below.
Brea Simons and Yvette Rogers of Gospel for Teens in 2009. Photo credit: G. N. Miller.
The Wednesday Sings! sessions gave me the opportunity to come out of my shell in a comfortable non-judgmental environment. —DENISE, BROOKLYN, NY
All my life, I've been told I can't sing, but hiding out with the Wednesday crew in the background was quite enjoyable. —DENISE, BROOKLYN, NY
Although I was a little nervous about singing with other people, I felt welcomed and encouraged to express myself. —TREVOR, FOREST HILLS, NY
Gospel for Teens in performance, circa 2007. Photo credit: G. N. Miller
I consider myself a fairly good singer, but I learned that I had a very bad habit of singing on my throat. I was delighted to hear the difference in my voice after changing my technique. —ANDRE, HARLEM, NY
The most valuable lesson I learned involved proper breathing. I always thought I was an alto and was shocked to discover that I could actually sing soprano! —LASHONDA, HARLEM. NY
Wednesday Sings! participants perform during first concert at the Dempsey Theater in Spring 2013. Photo credit: Anaiis Cisco.
Gerry Williams leads Gospel for Teens in performance, circa 2007. Photo credit: G. N. Miller.
Executive Director Vy Higginsen and Gospel for Teens Choir in performance at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Harlem, New York City, 2006. Photo credit: G.N. Miller.
The School of Gospel, Jazz and R&B Arts trains talented singers, musicians and arrangers. We help develop singers' vocal power and stage presence as well as teach a substantial musical repertoire. Participants have the opportunity to develop the habits and attitudes that create success in any endeavor.
Whether you desire to sing professionally, express yourself in a worship service, or sing in the shower, singing provides an emotional and spiritual release. The School for Gospel, Jazz and R&B Arts supports the beginner, seasoned singer, and those who sing for joy or those who want to professionally fine-tune their vocal instrument.
Instructor Greg Kelly, Photo credit: Don Bailey
Gregory M. Kelly is one of our talented instructors and a producer, Grammy award-winning songwriter and an accomplished musician. He is both writer and musician for Vy Higginsen's sensational gospel musical, Mama, I Want To Sing and Music Master for Vy Higginsen's Gospel for Teens Program.
Instructor Timothy Riley, Photo credit: Don Bailey
Drawing from the traditions of gospel, jazz, and R&B, discover the beauty and wonder of the voice that lives inside you. Designed for adults, this workshop helps nurture your confidence and assists in building the physical and mental habits that support you in owning and loving your voice. You will receive guidance on how to connect the music with your inner self and sing with authenticity and joy.
Sing as a choir, or if you want, step out for solo work. If you love to sing, your voice is welcome here. Sing. Have fun. Build community.
SESSION 1 (Six Weeks) March 8 - April 12 $150 Wednesdays6:45 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
SESSION 2 (Six Weeks) April 19 - May 24 $150 Wednesdays6:45 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
SESSION 3 (4 Days) Tuesday, May 30
Wednesday, May 31
Thursday, June 1
Friday, June 2$75 Class time6:45 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
You will have the opportunity participate in a concert at the end of session 3.
Tenors rockin’ it during Wednesday Sings! 2016 Spring concert. Photo credit: Richard Hill.
This renovated five story brownstone on a residential block on West 126th Street between Lenox Avenue and Adam Clayton Pwell Jr. Blvd. in Manhattan has been the home of the Mama Foundation for the Arts since its inception in 1998. It includes the business and production offices as well as a classroom and rehearsal space. Photo credit: KE Photography Harlem.
The Mama Foundation for the Arts is in the core of Central Harlem's most thriving cultural and business community, surrounded by the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building, The Apollo Theater, and the Lenox Avenue "Restaurant Row" featuring Sylvia's, Red Rooster, Corner Social and Chez Lucienne. The Foundation's warm, comforting environment was enhanced in early 2012 with a renovation of the second and third floors which included new furniture courtesy of The Nate Berkus Show. It is the location of the Wednesday Sings! classes, private vocal instruction, and rehearsals for the Mama Foundation’s plays and performances by Gospel for Teens.
Program Director and Music Master Ahmaya Knoelle Higginson as Doris Troy in Mama, I Want to Sing, circa 2004. Photo credit: G.N. Miller.
Improve vocal range
Expand vocal dynamics
Sing without damage to vocal chords
Refine interpretation and style
Step out of the choir or group and sing solo
Preparation for auditions and performances
Call the Mama Foundation's office at 212-280-1045.
You will choose an instructor and an appointment after consultation.
All classes must be paid for a week in advance. Payment can be made by cash, Paypal or by telephone with a credit card.
Cancellations made at least 24 hours in advance will be re-scheduled according to students' and instructors' schedule.
Less than 24-hour cancellations—the payment is forfeited.
Register for 1 hour of private instruction for $75
Private vocal instruction consists of weekly hour long lessons: $75 per session.
VOCAL COACH $75 FOR 1 HOUR
Ahmaya Knoelle Higginson is one of our talented instructors.
Ahmaya Knoelle Higginson has toured all over the world with Mama, I Want to Sing, and performed the leading role in Bermuda, Japan, and New York. She has worked consistently in New York theater and is a recent graduate of The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) and Manhattan School of Music. She also serves as an Program Director and Music Master for the Foundation's Gospel for Teens art education program. Find more information on Ahmaya Knoelle on her personal site.
Timothy Riley majored in Vocal Performance and Music Education at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. In New York City he worked with the Boys Choir of Harlem and performed with The Love Fellowship Crusade Choir under the direction of Hezekiah Walker. Timothy also performs and teaches in Europe. In 2003 he performed in Let Me Off in Harlem with The Mama Foundation for the Arts.