About The Mark Howell Singers

Named for its Founder and Musical Director, W. Mark HowellThe Mark Howell Singers (MHS), is a multi-denominational vocal ensemble whose members, through the joys of singing and serving, are truly devoted to serving God through their gifts of music. Their repertoire embraces a wide spectrum of musical genres including Gospel, Anthems, Spirituals, and Inspirational songs.

This group was formed in 2005 by W. Mark Howell where they made their performance debut to a sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall with the lovely and dynamic vocalist Carla Ann Harris. This event was a benefit concert for St. Charles Borromeo School, Harlem, New York, and Bishop Kenny High School, Jacksonville, Florida. They have since appeared again at Carnegie Hall in 2006, 2010, 2012, and 2015 to other sold out crowd where all the proceeds went to various charities supporting children in Harlem, NY and Jacksonville Florida. The MHS has also performed with Carla Ann Harris at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center and at the Harvard Business School in their Centennial Anniversary celebration. The Mark Howell Singers have also ministered at St. Patrick’s Cathedral as well as many other churches in and around the Tri-State area.

In April 2007, the MHS was asked to perform at the memorial service for actor Roscoe Lee Brown, hosted by actress Tyne Daly and held at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Harlem, New York. In August 2009, MHS was featured on WPIX TV (Channel 11) NY.

 


Mia Anderer – Soprano

Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Mia began singing in high school as a part of the Vocal Ensemble of the University of Chicago Laboratory School. She went on to receive a B.A. degree from Oberlin College, where she continued vocal training at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and later as a student of the Chicago Civic Opera star, Sonia Sharnova.

Her first professional singing engagement was during the Yale Repertory Theater’s three month run of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, set to the music of Henry Purcell. Mia sang the solo musical role of Ariel and was also a member of the chorus. During a two-year stay in Tokyo, Japan, she had a part-time career dubbing Japanese movies into English and doing voiceovers for Japanese TV commercials. Back in the US, she was also employed as a member of the chorus for performances of La Boheme by Chicago-based opera singers at the University of Notre Dame.

She has been a parishioner and member of the St. Aloysius Gospel Choir in Harlem since 1993, sang for two years with the Ignatian Schola and recently joined the Mark Howell Singers with whom she looks forward to a long and happy association.

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Linda Arrington – Alto

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Linda first sang at the Children’s’ Day program at her aunt’s church, Mt Olive AME in Woodrow, SC.  After relocating to Pittsburgh, she has joined the Sacred Heart Church choir for Christmas and Easter which performed selections from the musical the Sound of Music as well as from Handel’s Messiah including the Hallelujah Chorus.  After returning to Brooklyn, sang with the E.D. Sangster Gospel Choir, The Inspirational Youth Choir, and the New Converts Quintet.  In 1984, she joined St. Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church in Harlem, NY and became a member of the newly formed St. Charles choir with eight members under the late Director, June Simms. Linda is currently a cantor at St. Charles Borromeo Church. She has also sung with the Sanctuary Choir of St. Charles and is also a member of the St. Charles Borromeo Mass Choir.   Linda has also performed Arias from Handel’s Messiah in concerts in Brooklyn and Manhattan.  She also participates with the Harlem’s Vicariate choir for annual Lenten Revivals. Linda was also a member of The Crystaltones.

In 1997 Linda became a member of the Voices of the Spirit under the Director, W. Mark Howell. She has appeared in concert with the Voices of the Spirit Choir at the world famous Apollo Theatre and at Radio City Music Hall in tribute to Frank Sinatra.  Linda has become a member of the Mark Howell Singers and has performed at such venues as Allice Tully Hall, and Carnegie Hall. In October of 2008, Linda has also performed with this group at the Harvard Business School in celebration of their centennial year celebration.

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Linda Bailous – Alto

Music has always been a part of her life. It was her father who had a large collection of LPs that consist of Jazz, Gospel, Classical and most memorable Christmas eves and Christmas Mornings Handel’s Messiah was played.
The first time she sang in public was in church (all of eight years old) singing He’s Got the hold World In His Hands. She joined her High   School Gee Club.

As member of Saint Charles Borromeo Church she realized how much the music moved her. She became a member of their Mass Choir, and soon became a member of Voices of the Spirit Directed by Mark Howell. Currently she is a member of the Mark Howell Singers. The Mark Howell Singer have performed at Carnegie Hall, St. Patrick Cathedral, and invited to perform at a numbers of churches.

She feels that giving a message of faith and being able sing the words has given her so much joy.

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Georgena Campbell-Bland – Soprano

Georgena has been told that her voice is strong and powerful. A soloist on a CD entitled “Never give up on God” and “In my Father’s house” featuring Our Lay of Charity gospel Choir, under the direction of M. Roger Holland. The desire to sing was nurtured as a choir member at St. Pascal Baylon RC church in Queens, NY. She is also a Alumnae of NC Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, NC.  While at A&T, Georgena sung across the North and South with the gospel choir. She is currently a member of St. Charles Borromeo RC Church in Harlem NY and recently joined the Mark Howell Singers performing at Lincoln Center, Alice Tully Hall at Carnegie Hall, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral In New York.

Georgena loves to share her gift of song as a Blessing to her God and for all to hear.

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Wilma Dore’-Almonor – Alto

Wilma was born in Harlem USA, and began her musical experience at the age of ten singing in the St. Charles school choir. She also performed in an off Broadway show in Texas called, “A My Name is Alice” and then “Harlem the Musical”, at the Apollo Theatre in New York City.  She was a member of the first Gospel choir in a catholic church, in 1979, which performed on the Gospel Caravan show on Cable TV.  She joined the St. Charles Mass Choir.

She was taught to project with feeling and emotion when you sing; you are bringing a message. She later did a Pizza Hut commercial with Aretha Franklin and later landed speaking roles in “Something Wild”, “Married to the Mob”, and other movies, and is currently doing voiceovers with the William Morris Agency in NY. Wilma is a member of The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and Aftra.   As a member of the Mark Howell Singers she sang at Carnegie Hall, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Radio City Music Hall, and in October 2008 Wilma performed at the Bicentennial Ceremony for Harvard Business School in Boston and as we continue to do God’s work.

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Allyson Eaton – Alto

Born in New York City, Allyson always had the love music. She attended Aquinas High School where she joined the chorus for a short period of time. She was also a member of the Community Protestant Church in Coop City, joining the youth choir under the direction of Ann Sinclair. During her years there she performed in different churches and community and also in different states.

When she went to College she began performing at talent and open mic shows to enhanced her career in singing. She has sung at family and friends weddings, with jazz bands and also performed for the NAACP. Allyson found her calling by going back her roots singing in the church for the Lord. Allyson was a member of several choirs: St. Philip and James; St. Joseph of the Holy Family and finally St. Mark’s Evangelist Church. She has sung with the Central Harlem Vicariate for several years, and performed for the Black History Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral under the direction of Roger Holland.

It was in February 2009, that she was introduced to Mark Howell by Scott Patterson her music director at St. Marks. Allyson has performed with MHS at Carnegie Hall and other venues throughout the tri-state area. Allyson enjoys singing and devoting her voice to the ministry of music. Allyson has another dream of writing children jingles and children songs.

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Ronis Ephraim – Tenor

Ron_EphraimRonis was born in St Johns Antigua West Indies, and as a teenager sang in the choir at St Johns Boys School.  In his mid twenties he sang in the choir at St Johns Cathedral.  He has been a member of the chancel choir at Wakefield Grace United Methodist in the Bronx for over twenty five years.  He sang with the “Values and Voices” Gospel choir; a workers group at St Vincent’s Hospital, who sang at St Patrick’ Cathedral for the Hundredth Anniversary Celebration of the Hospital.  He is currently a member of the 1199/SEIU “Retired Members Chorus”, and is also a part of a men’s trio that sing at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx once a month.

Ronis has been a member of The Mark Howell Singers from the start, and has performed at Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall.

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Karen Frederick – Alto

Karen_FrederickFrom school glee clubs to the renowned Mark Howell Singers, Karen has used her love of music and song to entertain, inspire and elevate the spirit of all.  She is currently a member of the Church of St. Charles Borromeo Gospel Lites Choir, The Central Harlem Vicariate Revival Choir, and The Charles Barbour Combined Memorial Choir.  Karen has also performed at benefit concerts and services including Greater File Chapel Baptist Church, Greater Hood Memorial AME Zion Church, and Salem United Methodist Church.

As a member of the Mark Howell Singers, she has performed at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Radio City Music Hall, and Carnegie Hall.  In October of 2008, Karen performed at the Bicentennial Ceremony for Harvard Business School in Boston.

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Jacqueline Adorn Freeman – Soprano

Jacqueline is a performing arts teacher for the Newark board of education. Jacqueline was trained at Harlem school of the Arts, Dance Theatre of Harlem and Julia Richmond “talented unlimited program”.  She has a Bachelor of fine Arts degree from the University of the Arts and two Masters in Education from the City College of NY. Jacqueline has performed in various countries such as Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname and Brazil, as well as, the continent of Africa. She has sung with the All Saints Gospel Choir, Umoja and, the Crystaltones. She has performed with The Joyce Harrigan Dance Academy, Marie Brooks and The Juba Dance Company.  As a member of All Saints Gospel Choir, she has performed at Salvation & Deliverance Church a televised fundraiser held each year for HIV/Aids.  She performed background vocals for Melba Moore in concert.  She was the assistant artistic director for Just The Place Creative Arts Center in the Bronx.

In 2005  and 2006, she sung with The Mark Howell Singers (MHS) at Carnegie Hall.   Although Jacqueline has lived a rich life in the arts, she is elated at what lies ahead for the MHS.

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Ernestine Grant – Alto

Ernestine_GrantBorn in New York, NY, Ernestine grew up surrounded by gospel music.  Her mother sang in their church choir, and at  a very young age she joined the children’s choir at Fellowship Baptist Church.   She sang in the youth choir, and then the senior choir at Fellowship B.C.. She joined the combined youth choir and gospel choir at St. Marks Roman Catholic Church.  Under special permission of the Canadian government the choir performed at a concert series in Quebec; the first gospel choir given permission.

She became a member of the Voices of the Spirit under the direction of Mark Howell and has sung at The Apollo Theatre. Ernestine joined the Mark Howell Singers, and has performed at Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall.  In October of 2008, Ernestine performed at the Bicentennial Ceremony for Harvard Business School in Boston.

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Carla Ann Harris – Alto

Growing up in Jacksonville, Fl; Carla loved singing, studying and bowling.  Her first experience with singing before an audience was at a fourth grade talent show.  She was nine years old and she has been singing ever since. In 1985, Carla began her career as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley in the Mergers & Acquisitions department. She is now the Managing Director in the Strategic Client Group for the firm.  Carla has performed in the New York area for over a decade in club appearances, off-off Broadway plays, and fundraisers. Carla released three CDs entitled, “Carla’s First Christmas” her first in 1999, Joy Is Waiting in 2005, and Unceasing Praise in 2010.

Today, Carla sings in the Gospelite choir of St. Charles Borromeo Church in Harlem and with The Mark Howell Singers (MHS). In 2005, when Carla decided to do a solo concert at Carnegie Hall, she asked the MHS to join her. MHS performed again in 2006, 2010, 2012 and 2015, with Carla at Carnegie Hall. In October 2008, Carla performed at the Harvard Business School Bicentennial Celebration with MHS.  She has received from Harvard an MBA, Second Year Honors and an AB in economics from Harvard University, Magna Cum Laude.

Carla says, “Music transcends everything about us that is physical,” “So often a song can say something in a way that a conversation can’t. She likes being in a position of communicating a message of hope, joy, and the idea that there’s a better day ahead if we can just hang in there. No matter how strong we are, it’s easy to forget the truth of that.” Carla has released her two books “Expect To Win”, and “Strategize to Win” in which she shares the lessons she has learned over twenty years working on Wall Street.

For more information visit: http://cdbaby.com/cd/carlaannharris

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Edna Henley-Edwards – Soprano

Edna_Henley-EdwardBorn in New York City, Edna was always fascinated with Broadway, movie musicals and Radio City Music Hall.  She loved to sing and joined her high school and college choirs.  A member of the St. Phillips Choir in New York City, she sang at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.  She later joined the U.F.T. Choral Group, which sang at nursing homes, and she performed as a soloist in concert. Edna has performed in concert with featured works such as Hallelujah Chorus, Gershwin’s musicals, and Duke Ellington’s sacred music.

She was a member of The Voices of the Spirit Choir and presently sings with the Trinity Choir in Mt. Vernon New York as a soprano soloist.  As a member of the Mark Howell Singers, Edna has sung at Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall and recently at the Bicentennial Ceremony for Harvard Business School in Boston, MA.

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Diane Holmes-Sumpter – Soprano

Born in Brooklyn, NY, Diane started singing in 1989 at All Saints Roman Catholic Church, Harlem NY.

For several years, she has also written, directed and performed with the youth of the church in their annual “live gospel” of the Passion of Christ, and she has also written a original musical play entitled “Motown Revue”, which details the history of Motown and its legendary musical artist. Diane has written several gospel songs, which she hopes to record. Diane is also the creator of the MHS performance video, which can be seen in the “music” section of the website.

As a member of the Mark Howell Singers, she has performed at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Radio City Music Hall, and Carnegie Hall.  In October of 2008, she performed at the Bicentennial Ceremony for Harvard Business School in Boston.  She is currently the Public Relations Representative for the Mark Howell Singers.  Diane can be contacted at (917) 592-1805.

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Sandra Hunt – Alto

Sandra was born in Oxford, NC . In the early ’50’s.  It was at as early as elemental school that she developed her interest and love for the performing arts. By the time she was 12, Sandra had exhibited an aptitude for dance.  Having been a student of both Vera Estram and Verna Hawkins schools of  Jazz, classical and interpretative dance, she often obtained the starring position in performances presented at local North and South Bronx community theater productions.  There she became first violin in the school orchestra and a member of locally well respected JHS #40 Glee Club which performed annually at Town Hall. She was well prepared to participate in Morris High School’s orchestra as first violinist and solo dancer in its major Broadway adapted performances.

She entered New York City Community College where she obtained an Associate’s Degree and became a Professional License Registered Nurse.  While successfully engaged in her vocation, Sandra also pursued her avocation—her passion—singing.  She joined her church gospel choir, the Gospel Lites in 1987 as an alto. Sandra has also sung with the Mass Choir and The Voices of the Spirit. As a member of these choirs she has sung at Carnegie Hall, The Apollo Theater, and most recently at the Pope Francis Papal Mass at Madison Square Garden.

Sandra joined the Mark Howell Singers in February 2016 and is grateful to be able to continue her ministry of praise and worship with such an amazing group of singers and believers.

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April Jeffries – Alto

April Jeffries started her artistic endeavors as an undergraduate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she was an active member of the MIT Musical Theatre Guild with principle roles in familiar productions such as “Godspell” and “Cabaret”. Upon returning to her New York City roots she expanded her creative expression to include writing and acting. She was one of the founders of a writing group – ‘nuff said! – and performed in several productions with the Open Cage Theater of Mount Vernon, New York. With the support of Open Cage and ‘nuff said!, she co-wrote, produced, performed and sang in her original one-woman show – Letters to Grammie – that was mounted at several theatres throughout New York and was the recipient of the New Professional Theatre Our Words writing award.

In 2001, April produced her first CD – Voices of Remembrance- a musical soundtrack for an original play. This CD was featured as a Jazz, Gospel, R&B experience with Scott Patterson as musical director and several members of the St. Charles Gospelites choir showcased. April currently sings with the Gospelites and the Mark Howell Singers with whom she performed with Carla Harris at Carnegie Hall. She is working on her new CD “The Four Seasons of April”.

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Billy Johnson – Tenor

Billy_JohnsonBilly is a native of Enterprise, Alabama.  He started singing at the age of ten as a member of the Chambers Memorial Baptist Church in NYC. In 1984, he became a member of the Salvation & Deliverance Radio and TV Choir (S&D) in Harlem.  As a member of the S&D Choir, he participated in a concert to raise funds for HIV victims and performed two solos in the musical play, “He Had Mercy.  While serving in the military, he sang with several Interdenominational choirs in England and Panama and the Kino Gospel Choir in Tucson, Arizona.  He is a proud Alumni of Norfolk State University in Norfolk, VA. While a student at NSU he joined the Norfolk State University Gospel Choir.  The NSU Gospel Choir performed on campus and at several local churches especially during Black History Month.

After graduation, he returned to New York City and joined the Harlem Mass Choir.  As a member of the Harlem Mass Choir, he performed at the World’s Famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem.  In 2008, he became a member of the Mark Howell Singers and in October performed with them at the Bicentennial Ceremony for Harvard Business School in Boston.

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Raymond Jones – Tenor

Raymond is a native New Yorker; born in Manhattan.  His first solo was at age seven when he sang at the Hood Memorial AME Zion Church.  He sang in the children’s choir until his family relocated to Westchester where he had been an active member of the Asbury United Methodist church chancel choir for many years.

He has sung with various groups, such as the Centennial Choir, the High C’s, and currently with the Voices of Praise. He was a member of the internationally known Voices of the Spirit Choir performing at the World’s Famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem,  Carnegie Hall, and many other venues in around New York City.  Raymond has also appeared as a soloist on a number of occasions including a radio engagement in Brazil.

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Suzi Mengue – Soprano

Suzi joined the Mark Howell Singers in 2010 as a soprano. Her beautiful melodic voice has been a blessing to the group. She has performed with MHS at various churches in New York and New Jersey as well as at Carnegie Hall and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Suzi is an artist who shares her musical talents in and outside of the USA.

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Francine Murray – Soprano

Born in Harlem, New York, Francine was introduced to music at an early age by her uncle, who was an accomplished pianist. She took piano lessons for several years and sang in her school choruses throughout her elementary and high school years. Her love of choral music developed while singing with the Howard University Choir. Under the direction of Dr. Warner Lawson, the choir sang throughout the Washington, DC area, including performances with the National Symphony Orchestra at Constitution Hall and for Nikita Khrushchev and the Russian delegation when they came to the United States.

In New York, Francine sang for several years with the Collegiate Chorale under the direction of Abraham Kaplan. The Chorale performed annually with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra at Philharmonic Hall (now Avery Fisher) as part of their subscription series and so sang under the direction of many famous conductors, including Lorin Maazel and Seiji Ozawa. Subsequently, she sang with the St. Cecelia Chorus under the direction of David Randolph and also, on occasion, by other renowned conductors, including Lucas Foss and Romano Gandolfi of La Scala; and with Ebony Voices for Education (formerly the United Negro College Fund Choir), directed by Dennis Kadan.

A member of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Church in Harlem, Francine sings in the Gospel Choir. She joined The Mark Howell Singers in 2013. Singing under the direction of W. Mark Howell has been and continues to be an uplifting and inspiring experience.

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Desaree Noor – Soprano

Desaree_NoorA native of Bronx, New York, Desaree was bitten by the love for music at an early age through the inspiration of her aunt, a gifted soprano and music teacher, and enjoyed singing in her church and school choruses. As an active member of St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church, she sings with the Sanctuary Choir and performs as a soloist in the churches annual Gospel /Jazz Concerts as well as the Wednesday Jazz Church Services. Her performance experience has included several independent and church based choirs; the Bronx Concert Singers, the Melodious Wanderers, the Crystaltones; and the Voices of the Spirit Choir, a Harlem based group that has performed at the Apollo Theater, Carnegie Hall and many other venues in and around the New York Metro Area.

Desaree is currently a member of the Mark Howell Singers, a choral group under the direction of W. Mark Howell, which has performed at Carnegie Hall, Radio City, the 2008 Bicentennial Celebration of Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts as well as many concerts and guest appearances in the Metropolitan area.

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Sandra Powell – Alto

Sandra is a native of Harlem, New York and an active member of St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in Harlem. Raised in the church, she hails from a line of talented “churchin” women. In high school in Chicago, Illinois, she performed with an R & B group the Persuasions performing at the Guys and Dolls Café and the High Chaparrals, and Herb Kent’s club. She was a featured alto vocalist with the Illinois State University Acapella choir. In 1999, she performed as a background vocalist for Billy Preston and Darlene Love at the Manhattan Center in New York City. In 2004, she performed, with an ensemble under the direction of W. Mark Howell at Radio City Music Hall, in a tribute to Frank Sinatra.

She was a featured vocal soloist at the Black History Month Celebration held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. She was a member of the internationally known Voices of the Spirit Choir performing at the World’s Famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem, and Carnegie Hall. She has performed with the female ensemble The Crystaltones. In 2005 she was a featured vocal soloist in Danny Coakley’s Father’s Day Celebration “A Gospel Celebration” held at Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture. As a member of the Mark Howell Singers (MHS), Sandra has performed at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall and most recently at the Bicentennial Ceremony for Harvard Business School in Boston.

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Florence Raysor – Soprano

Florence_RaysorBorn in New York City, as a young child Florence’s first experience was singing with the children’s choir at Bethel AME Church in the young children’s choir. She moved up to singing with the Chancel choir. She joined the Voices of the Spirit choir back in 1997. She sang with this choir at the Apollo Theatre, Carnegie Hall, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Radio City Music Hall. She was a backup singer for Darlene Love and Billy Preston at their performance at the Manhattan Center. She also sang with the group the Crystaltones.

Florence has joined the Mark Howell Singers and has participated at their debut at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Harvard Business School’s Centennial celebration as well as various other concerts in and around the NY Metro Area.

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Miles Sherman – Tenor

Sherman_SpannNext door to Charleston, South Carolina, in a town called Cross, is where a talented singer, songwriter, musician and producer was born.  Sherman Spann, a.k.a Miles Sherman grew up in a household where music lived. Singing lead vocal in both of his parent’s gospel groups, The Voices of Cross and The Spiritual Gospel Singers, he was later approached to be a part of the Sunbeam Youth Choir.  At the age of twelve, Sherman taught himself the keyboard and quickly began writing lyrics and building his compositions.

Sherman has completed his first CD.  As a member of the Mark Howell Singers, Sherman has performed at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Radio City Music Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Carnegie Hall.  In October of 2008, Sherman performed with this choir at the Bicentennial Ceremony for Harvard Business School in Boston.

For more detailed information please visit:  www.milessherman.com.

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John Staton – Tenor

John_StatonJohn L. Staton, who was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, came from a musical family. His father was a musician and his aunt, a jazz and blues singer. John, who wanted to be just like the both of them, sang a little while in college. His love for music stayed with him. He became involved in the choir at the Church of the Resurrection in Harlem and, afterwards, was eager to join the Men’s Chorus at St. Charles.

John is a tenor and enjoys reading, dancing, listening to music and singing.

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Christal M. Sumpter – Soprano

Born in Harlem, New York, she began studying piano at the age of twelve and has studied voice with several very accomplished instructors over the years.  She attended the Julliard School of Music Evening Division.  Christal has served as cantor and soloist for various Masses at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and other churches in the metropolitan area.  For several years, Christal performed the National Anthem for the United States Tennis Association at the U.S. Open in Queens, New York.  She has been a member of the Mark Howell Singers since its inception.  With this group, Christal has performed, as soloist, at Carnegie Hall and at several other concerts throughout the NYC area and Boston, MA.  She has also performed at Radio City Music Hall and the Apollo Theater in Harlem with the Voices of the Spirit Choir.  She has been a member of the musical groups, The Crystaltones and Umoja and has sung background vocals for Melba Moore in concert.

In September 2003, Christal released her first CD entitled ‘A Promise Kept,’ which is a dedication to her Mother who had recently passed away. Christal gives all praises to God for granting her the gift of song and allowing her to work towards making a difference in people’s lives.

For more information please visit: www.christalsumpter.com

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Sharri Timmons – Tenor

Born in New York, NY, Sharri started her musical career at the age of 10 playing violin in the school orchestra.  She performed at Alice Tully Hall at the age of 15 with The Herman Ridder Jr. High School orchestra.  She started singing contralto at age 11 with the choir at Trinity Episcopal Church in Mt. Vernon, NY.  The choir has performed in various churches in the Mt. Vernon and Bronx area.  At the present time, she is the choir director.  She received her B.A. in Theatre from Rutgers University. Sharri is the daughter of the late Rodester Timmons who was the first African-American tenor employed at Radio City Music Hall during the 1950s.

From 1996-2004, she was a member of The Voices of the Spirit Choir; and performed at The Apollo Theatre; and The Crystaltones (2005-2007).   As a member of The Mark Howell Singers, she has performed at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Radio City Music Hall, The Apollo Theater and Carnegie Hall.  In October of 2008, Sharri performed at the Bicentennial Ceremony for Harvard Business School in Boston, Mass.

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Michele Turnquest – Alto

Born in New York City and always a lover of music, Michele attended Music and Arts High School.  Although an instrumental student, Michele enjoyed singing with choirs and others. She has also sung with the St. Charles Mass Choir under the direction of Mark Howell.

Michele started out singing with the St. Charles Borromeo Sanctuary Choir and soon moved to the gospel choir.  She has been a member of the Gospelites since 1987.  She has also song with the St. Charles Mass Choir under the direction of Mark Howell.  Michele is also the Music Director for the St. Charles Youth Ensemble who sings regularly for Sunday Mass.  She was also a member of the Voices of the Spirit Choir who has performed at such places as Radio City Music Hall in a tribute to Frank Sinatra, the World Famous Apollo Theatre, Carnegie Hall and many other venues in and around the NY Metro Area.  Michele is an original member of the The Mark Howell Singers who has performed at places as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Harvard Business School in Boston Massachusetts.

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Christine Whelan – Alto

Christine grew up with music, singing along while her dad played the piano, and has been a church chorister since childhood. Her love of performing led to a BFA in Dramatic Arts and a chance to act in the prestigious UNIMA World Puppetry Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. She continued her theatre studies in New York at the renowned New Actors Workshop, acting and singing in workshop productions, summer stock, cabarets, independent films, and television commercials. Amusingly, her two most memorable roles in commercials were that of a nun and a woman singing in church.

Over the past 25 years Chris has been a choir member and soloist at the churches of St Jean Baptiste, St. Francis Xavier, All Saints, and most recently St Charles Borromeo as a member of the Praise and Worship team. She is honored to be a member of the Mark Howell Singers.

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Larue A. Williams – Tenor

Larue joined the Mark Howell Singers in April 2015. His voice has been an added blessing to the group. He has performed with MHS at various churches in New York and New Jersey as well as Alice Tully Hall at Carnegie Hall and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

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Chontrell Wrenick – Tenor

Chontrell_WrenickChontrell was born and raised in the Village of Harlem and started singing at the age of 4 in his Grandmother Helen’s living room.  He was trained as a gospel singer at the age of 14 when he joined the St. Charles Borromeo Youth Choir.  In 2002, he decided to continue his passion for singing and joined the St. Charles Gospelites.

In 2008, he was recruited by Mark Howell to be a part of the Mark Howell Singers. Chontrell’s first concert with the Mark Howell Singers was in October of 2008, performing at the Bicentennial Ceremony for Harvard Business School in Boston.

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