About our Director

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"It is thanks to Elizabeth, and her belief in the possibilities that lie within each of us, that I am able to express myself today through singing. Thank you for encouraging me to find my voice.
--Anna F.

Elizabeth Melvin, founding director of The Freedom Choir and the Annapolis Morning Song Circle,  holds a deep belief in the power of music to provide transformative, joyous experiences on the individual and community level.  She brings a lifetime of study and performance in world music to her work as a choir director and song workshop leader. Her interest in the music of Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America led her to an undergraduate interdisciplinary degree in Folklore and Music from UNC-Chapel Hill and graduate work in Ethnomusicology at University of Maryland Baltimore County.

A multi-instrumentalist, she was invited by the late Senegalese kora master Djimo Kouyate to play marimba in his band and later founded her own world music group Mama Jama, performing on keyboard and marimba and singing backing vocals. She has studied conga and djembe drumming with a variety of master teachers and teaches group hand drumming classes to all ages, www.drumitup.info.  She often performs harmony vocals with Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, as well as singing lead, harmony and playing percussion in the honky-tonk swing quartet, The Late Boomers.

Elizabeth is a graduate of the Community Choir Leadership Training,
www.communitychoirleadership.com, led by renowned choir leaders Denis Donnelly and Shivon Robinsong in Victoria, B.C., Canada. She has led community choirs and taught
numerous singing workshops around Maryland since 2010.