General - Thu, Oct. 6, 2016
 
 When music major Stephen L. Hayes earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff in 1973, his goal was to become a composer-arranger for STAX Records. It did not happen. In time, he would accept a higher education appointment in the music department at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas.
 
It was his choir at Philander Smith College that would sing the anthem at the Fifty-Second Presidential Inaugural of Bill Clinton. Later, when he was given the nod to lead the great Tuskegee University Choir in Alabama, his choirs won national choral festivals and was invited to sing in the East Room of the White House. Eventually, Hayes would conduct choirs at Carnegie Hall, the John F. Kennedy Center, Madison Square Garden and for the National Prayer Breakfast.
 
Hayes now serves as an associate professor of music at Wiley College, and he is the artistic director of the A Cappella Choir of Wiley College. It was under his baton that the choir sang twice at the White House, in 2011 and 2013.
 
On October 7, the Sundance Film Festival First Place Prize winning film " The Birth Of A Nation" will open in theaters across the country. It is based upon a true story about   Nat Turner's slave rebellion   in 1831 in Southampton, Virginia. Nate Parker produced, directed, wrote and stars as Nat Turner. 
 

The movie's soundtrack was recorded by the A Cappella Choir of Wiley College under  Hayes' direction. The choir's recording of "Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray" plays at the end of the movie as the credits roll.
 

Please click link  to view  the A Cappella Choir's recording session for "The Birth of a Nation."https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IwXxBrA3wA   

Wiley College is known for its national championship debate team that was featured in the movie "The Great Debaters" starring Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, and Jurnee Smollett-Bell. The Wiley College Choir recorded musical excerpts for the soundtrack of that film also.

Atlantic Records recently released the "The Inspired By Album"- the CD soundtrack  for "The Birth of a Nation."  Wiley's choir is featured on the soundtrack singing "Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray" and backing popular artist Trey Songz on the track, "Stand." The CD and tracks from the album are available on ITunes.

In photos is Stephen L. Hayes, Artistic Director for the A Cappella Choir of Wiley College.