Symphoria presents a tribute to Grammy Award Winning Artist Richard Smallwood, with full gospel chorus, and special guest vocalists. Richard Smallwood will be in attendance at this event. This unforgettable performance celebrates his timeless musical message of hope, sensitivity and power.
This event is presented in collaboration WAER, celebrating their 75th Anniversary and WAER’s long running Gospel Music Program, hosted by Cora Thomas
Smallwood’s recording career began in 1982 with the album The Richard Smallwood Singers. The album spent 87 weeks on Billboard’s Gospel chart. Its follow-up, Psalms was nominated for a Grammy. Two years later the album Textures was also nominated. Textures spawned the now-classic “Center Of My Joy” written by Richard Smallwood along with Bill and Gloria Gaither. Smallwood won his first Grammy, along with a Dove Award for his production on the Quincy Jones’ gospel project Handel’s Messiah: A Soulful Celebration.
Smallwood’s music has been recorded by artists such as Destiny’s Child, Yolanda Adams, Karen Clark-Sheard, and many more. He accompanied opera legend Leontyne Price at a White House Christmas celebration during the Reagan administration. Smallwood, with his current group Vision, has recorded several successful projects for Verity records. He finished his master’s degree in Divinity from Howard University in 2004 and was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2006.
Smallwood’s next project was recorded live at the Hammerstein Ballroom at the Manhattan Center in New York. The concert features guests Kim Burrell on “Journey”, Kelly Price on “Morning’s Breaking,” Chaka Khan on “Precious Is Your Name,” as well as The Hawkins Family, Tramaine Hawkins, and the original roster of singers who comprised The Richard Smallwood Singers and Vision. Aretha Franklin and The Clark Sisters would contribute to additional studio tracks to appear on the album.
Among Smallwood’s most popular songs are Total Praise, composed in 1996 while he was experiencing sorrow in his life, and I Love the Lord, popularized by singer Whitney Houston in the film, The Preacher’s Wife.