An inaugural benefit concert for the John H. Lee Memorial Scholarship Fund, will be held on Saturday, December 19, 2:00 p.m. at King and Queen Central High School, 17024 The Trail, King and Queen CH, VA 23085. Doors will open at 1:15 p.m. This event will celebrate the life of John H. Lee with his family, friends, colleagues, former students, and the community. Tickets for the benefit concert are $25.00 and can be purchased in advance from any choir member or by contacting Roosevelt Shackleford at (804) 246-9520. Tickets will also be available at the door on the day of the concert.
The Scholarship is an idea conceived by Marie Jeffries Smith, to create a lasting legacy to John H. Lee. A group came together and formed a Board of Directors to plan and administer the on-going activities, events, and finances of the The John H. Lee Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is intended for students who are pursuing a degree in Music education or Performance at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
John H. Lee was born, raised, and received his early education in West Point. He lived most of his adult life in the town and passed away there in December of 2014. His innate musical abilities emerged very early in his life and were nurtured under the guidance of local music teachers. He went on to receive a degree in music from Virginia State University and a Masters from Columbia University. John Lee worked for many years in the town of West Point, the counties of King and Queen, King William, the cities of Newport News and Richmond, and numerous other locations. He was the music teacher at Central High School for over 30 years and later became the Assistant Principal and Acting Principal. John touched multitudes of people during a life of sharing his gifts and talents which impacted the lives and the development of countless musicians.
The memorial chorus for the concert includes friends, former students, and colleagues from Richmond, Chesterfield, West Point, King and Queen, Gloucester, and Williamsburg. The chorus is musically, racially, and culturally diverse. The concert will feature music of all genres. It will truly represent the eclectic nature of Mr. John H. Lee.
Music directors for the concert are Joyce Garnett Bassette, Pervis O. Blake, and Marcellus Dungee. They are all students of John Lee, graduates of Central High School, and they all earned Bachelor of Music degrees from Virginia State University.
Joyce Garnett Bassette holds a Master's Degree in Music Education from Virginia Commonwealth University and is currently a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She has taught instrumental and vocal music in King and Queen (one summer) and New Kent (16 years) Va. counties public schools at fourth to twelfth grade levels. Her bands and choirs always consistently received superior ratings in district assessments. Joyce has served in a variety of positions in Richmond Public Schools for 25 years as Coordinator for Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School, Assistant Principal, Principal and Division Music Instructional Specialist. She has been guest featured vocal soloist for the National Chlòn Convention in Detroit, MI, and a clarinetist performer in Paris, Zurich, Amsterdam, Munich, and London. Known for her vibrant and dynamic style and spirit, she will help to make this an exciting concert.
Pervis O. Blake, holds a Masters of Vocal Music and Performance from Norfolk State University and a post masters from The George Washington University in Educational Leadership and Administration. He has been a school music teacher and is the Choral Director at Union Prospect Baptist Church. He is widely sought after as a conductor and performer for music events and holds membership in the Virginia Opera Association. Most notable for Mr. Blake was his performance of several major roles in Mozart's "The Magic Flute" in Vietri sul Mare, Naples, and the Amalfi Coast, Italy in 2006. Besides all of his musical involvement, he is Director of Operations and Student Services for Achievable Dream, Inc.
Marcellus Dungee, holds a music degree in vocal music education with a minor in piano and is a member of Kappa Kappa Psi Honorary Band Fraternity. He has used this education to teach vocal music in numerous settings for 36 years. Currently, he is the choral music teacher at Rappahannock High School in Warsaw, Virginia. During the summer for the last 25 years, Mr. Dungee has directed and presented the 45-60 voice Southside Rappahannock Baptist Association Choir in concert. He is also the choir director for Second Mt. Olive Baptist Church, in Little Plymouth, VA and the Antioch Baptist Church in Champlain, VA .
In addition to purchasing tickets for the concert, tax-deductible contributions can also be made at the following levels: Bronze-$1-$499, Silver-$500-$999, Gold-$1,000-$4,999, and Elite-$5,000+. Contributions of any amount may be made via a cashier's check or money order made payable to The John H. Lee Memorial Scholarship. Contributions may be mailed to The John H. Lee Memorial Scholarship, P.O. Box 1390, West Point, VA 23181.
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