R. Nathaniel Dett Concert Choir
Sanctuary Choir of Antioch Baptist Church
William B. Woods, director
Joanne Poderis, piano
Program includes works of Jeffery Ames, R. Nathaniel Dett, Wm. Dawson, Moses Hogan, Scott Joplin, Mozart, John Rutter, Rossini, and Mendelssohn.
Cleveland School of the Arts is a specialty arts school of choice in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District that incorporates all aspects of the arts into its teaching approach. Started in 1981, the school currently enrolls over 700 students in grades six through twelve. The school is distinguished by its strengths in both academics and arts. In addition to a college preparatory academic curriculum, all students participate in an arts curriculum of their choice: creative writing, dance, digital design & multimedia, instrumental and vocal music, theatre, or visual arts. Located in Cleveland’s University Circle, the school has easy access to the city’s major cultural institutions, enabling the development of strong artistic partnerships necessary for success.
The R. Nathaniel Dett Concert Choir, under the direction of William B. Woods, has established itself as one of the finest high school vocal ensembles in the United States. The choir enjoys national and international recognition.
William B. Woods, director of vocal music, conducts the Intermediate Concert Choir, JazzArt Ensemble and the R. Nathaniel Dett Concert Choir at the Cleveland School of the Arts (CSA). He is originally from Gadsden, Alabama, and received his training from Tennessee State University and Western Reserve University (now Case Western Reserve University). His distinguished career spans more than four decades, during which time he has become one of the most respected choral directors in this country. The Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) conferred upon him the Honorary Doctorate of Music degree at its 74th Commencement Ceremony in 1999. The Dett Choir enjoys national recognition and has enhanced the reputation of the school by establishing a model of performance excellence. This accomplishment motivated the Women’s City Club of Cleveland to name Cleveland School of the Arts the sole recipient of the prestigious 1996 Cleveland Arts Prize, breaking a 35 year tradition of honoring individual artists in various disciplines. Local church performances by the choirs include Church of the Covenant, Trinity Cathedral, Fairmount Temple, First Unitarian Church of Shaker Heights, St. John’s Cathedral and Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ (ART concert series). Additionally, the choirs have performed in Saitima (Japan), Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck (Austria), Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, Allegheny College (Meadville, PA), Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland State University, Cuyahoga Community College and several times in Severance Hall.
Joanne Poderis, piano, serves as collaborative pianist for CSA choirs and instrumentalists. In addition to her duties at CSA, she serves as Executive Director/Accompanist for the Western Reserve Chorale, and is the accompanist for the Choral Arts Society. Ms. Poderis is also organist at the First Church of Christ Scientist in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.