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A Gospel Christmas featuring a Tribute to Richard Smallwood

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Dr. Henry Panion, III, conductor
Gospel Choir led by Minister Earl Bynum

The Virginia Symphony Orchestra is overjoyed to welcome Dr. Henry Panion back to Chrysler Hall to lead a soulful celebration of the season featuring a community gospel choir led by Minister Earl Bynum (Director of The Mount Unity Choir). We’ll also celebrate one of the most esteemed names in gospel music, Richard Smallwood. His songs have become standards of American church choral music, and Dr. Panion’s moving orchestral arrangements of them will bring the audience to their feet!

Dr. Henry Panion, III is a producer, composer, arranger, orchestrator, conductor, and educator. As conductor and arranger for superstar Stevie Wonder, he has led many of the world’s most notable orchestras. Other artists Dr. Panion has had the opportunity to conduct and/or arrange include Aretha Franklin, Lionel Richie, The Winans, The Clark Sisters, Chaka Khan, Kirk Franklin, and more.  He also serves as the Director of the Music Technology Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Earl Bynum is the Executive Minister of Music at Mount Lebanon Baptist Church in Chesapeake, VA and Elizabeth City, NC. Under his leadership, The Mount Unity Choir has achieved numerous accolades and released an award-winning album. Bynum has written for and directed the Virginia Mass Choir, has served as 1st Vice President to the Virginia Gospel Radio Announcers Guild and for the last few years has served as worship leader for the Annual Hampton University Ministers’ Conference.

Richard Smallwood is a legendary gospel composer, singer, and pianist. He formed the Richard Smallwood Singers in 1977, and their first album in 1982 stayed on Billboard’s Gospel chart for 87 weeks. His anthems “Total Praise,” “I Love the Lord,” and “Center of My Joy” have become classics all over the world.