Sherman UMC is proud to bring you our Summer Benefit Concert
5 pm on Sunday, June 28, 2015
Tramaine Parker & Friends
Showcasing the talents of Tramaine Parker, Willis Ware, Kawana Williams, Lauren Robinson, Allie Bradford, Brandon Lampkin, Timothy Fett, Phillip Armstrong, Taylor Varndell, Austin Echols and Jasmine Henderson.
with selections from the choirs of Sherman UMC and Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church
Tramaine S. Parker has been a member of Sherman United Methodist Church since 2004. Tramaine is the youngest of 4 children born to Mildred H. Thomas- Parker and Aaron Parker Sr. She graduated from Fisk University with a B.A. in Psychology and Roosevelt University with a M.A. in Clinical Professional Psychology.
Tramaine began singing at the age of 4 in the Mt. Vernon Missionary Baptist church choir. She later joined the Chicago Children’s Choir where she began traveling throughout the United States and internationally singing. While attending Lincoln Park Highschool, she sang in the advanced girl’s chorus, advanced mixed chorus and Lincoln Park Singers. Tramaine also won honor superior ratings in the city and state solo competitions.
Tramaine is a former member of the Grammy-nominated Fisk Jubilee Singers and Fisk University Choir. Today, Tramaine continues to use her gift of song throughout the Chicagoland area. She is touted as a “splendid soloist” by the Chicago Tribune. July 8, 2015 Tramaine will be performing at Ravinia with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Porgy and Bess directed by Bobby McFerrin.
Willis Ware began singing at the age of 4. He attended Curie Highschool where he sang in the Concert Choir and won honor superior ratings in solo city and state competitions while attending Curie. Willis graduated from Fisk University with a B.A. in Biology. He is also a former member of the Grammy-nominated Fisk Jubilee Singers.
Lauren Robinson has been spreading her gift of performance throughout the Chicago land area since an early age. In recent years she has had the pleasure of performing as a member of the Black Ensemble Theater, as a singer/dancer in the main stage shows at Six Flags Great America and sharing the stage with this wonderful group of individuals you will hear today as an alumna of the Chicago Children’s Choir. She currently splits her time between working on the Sponsorship team for the top live-events entertainment production company in the country, LiveNation, in addition to working at the best new restaurant in Chicago and as a freelance event coordinator.
Austin Echols began his musical journey at the age of 13. He attended a performing arts grammar school then later auditioned for the “concert choir” of the Chicago Children’s Choir. There, Austin was introduced to world music. “Learning about different cultures, South African to Russian, has helped my growth as a compassionate human being and as a global citizen,” says Austin, who works as a choreographer to dance competitions across the Midwest. He also continues to share the message of tolerance & and peace to all cultures!
Allie Bradford started singing with the Chicago Children’s Choir around the age of 5 and continued to sing with that group until the age of 18 traveling in and out of the country. She has been a part of several musical plays including the late Oscar Brown Jr.’s “The Great Nitty Gritty”. Allie sang with the band Milo & Otis and often performs at public and private charity events as a Chicago Children’s Choir alumna.
Kawana Williams, M.A., LPC was born in Carbondale, Illinois to Kent and Marie Williams(Taylor). She moved to Chicago in 1992 and got her start in performing at age 10 at ETA Creative Arts Theater, located on the South Side of Chicago. After being accepted into the prestigious music program of Lincoln Park High School, Ms. Williams accepted an invitation to attend, eventually transferred to, and graduated from, Proviso West High School, where she was a featured soloist with the Proviso West Madrigal Singers/Showchoir, The Female Ensemble, and the Mixed Choir until receiving her diploma in 2001.
After high school, Ms. Williams was accepted into the music program of Fisk University, where she was active as a member of the Grammy and Dove Award-Winning Fisk Jubilee Singers until her graduation. Ms. Williams’ love and passion for music led her to receive countless solo performing opportunities, playing leads in on-campus productions of The Magic Flute, Hansel and Gretel, and countless other ensemble opportunities. While in her senior year at Fisk, Ms. Williams was diagnosed with Stage I-C Ovarian Cancer; she went on to receive her Bachelor of Art with a concentration in Vocal Performance in 2007 after taking a semester off to undergo chemotherapy treatments.
Ms. Williams is currently a licensed professional counselor with the State of Illinos; a professional dancer with Reveries in Motion Dance Company, Incorporated; a lecturer with both Gilda’s Club and the National Ovarian Cancer Alliance; and the author of “Coming to my Crossroads,” a memoir of her experiences with her cancer diagnosis.
Timmy Fett is a proud voice of Chicago and an American entertainer. A performer since birth, Timmy began singing professionally in 1999 for institutions such as the Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Joffrey Ballet, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The bulk of Mr. Fett’s training in music is from his 10 year tenure with the world renowned Chicago Children’s Choir under the brazen and brilliant hand of Josephine Lee. He has sung in countries all around the world from South Korea to Argentina, on stages such as Carnegie Hall and the All State Arena for and with artists such as Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli, Beyonce, and President Bill Clinton. Timmy is also a proud alumnus of Franklin Fine Arts Center, Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, and studied Arts, Entertainment and Media Management at Columbia College Chicago. A member of Queen of Angels Parish, Mr. Fett has his roots in God and the good people that share in his love and praise! Timmy feels truly blessed to be a part of this evening’s Tramaine and Friends at Sherman United Methodist Church and thanks Tramaine Parker and her magnificent mother Mildred for being angels in his life for 15 wonderful years! Mr. Fett believes that God and Music will always and forever be our bridge to get over troubled waters.