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Eastern HS Gospel Choir Documentary Photography

About Project

A retired high school music teacher, celebrated for changing her students’ lives, tracks down hundreds of former protégés to sing together once more.

It was 1988 in Ronald Reagan’s America and Marion Barry’s Washington DC, when an ensemble of Black high school singers raised $160,000 to travel halfway across the world to an international chorus competition in Vienna, Austria. The Eastern Senior High School Choir returned home triumphant—with a Silver trophy and invitations to perform with musical icons, on national television, and at the White House.

Thirty years later, their retired choir teacher, Dr. Joyce Garrett, is organizing a reunion concert commemorating the 1988 winners and uniting hundreds of other protégés she directed over her storied career. With song, intimate character portraits from past and present, celebrity voices, and revelations about the transformative power of choral music, we follow the road to the reunion.

Project Details