A group of local non-profits in Prince George's County have partnered to hold a benefit concert for underserved youth. The star of the show is an Upper Marlboro native who travels all over the country as a professional opera singer.
With only a few days left before showtime, Bass-Baritone Jonathan Woody and Pianist Dr. Lester Green took center stage practicing together for this weekend's concert at the Bowie Center for Performing Arts.
"There's still very few people of color in classical music and what's meaningful for me is to be an example of somebody who can succeed in this field and thrive," said Woody, who is a member of the Grammy-nominated Trinity Wall Street Choir.
"Hopefully, I can encourage some young people to follow in my footsteps," he added.
The Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts (CAAPA), The Landover Educational Athletic Recreational Nonprofit Foundation (LEARN) and The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASLAH) have teamed up to present the "Jonathan Woody in Concert with Dr. Lester Green" event to raise money for scholarships. The Heritage Signature Chorale and the Ottley Music School will be special guests.
CAPPA is a non-profit that supports African American classical musicians and others in the performing arts. For more than a decade, the organization has provided scholarships, special programs and performance opportunities for musicians.
Dr. Green is the artistic director and said "CAAPA does a lot to serve underprivileged youth and bring color to the classics."
Proceeds from the concert will go toward its scholarship program.
Woody is now a resident of New York, but came home to help make a difference. He told WUSA9 he is excited to reconnect with the community. The Prince George's County native graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Maryland in 2005 and completed his Master of Music degree at McGill University in Montreal.
Woody has been singing since he was 3 years old and is the only person in his family to do so. His background in music started with gospel then classical.
" Music is something that I feel is inside of me,” Woody said.”
"Singing allows it to come out of me," Woody said.
The concert is Sunday, June 11 from 4p.m. to 6p.m. at the Bowie Center for Performing Arts. You can purchase tickets on CAAPA's website by clicking here.