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Suite for the New Year Program Notes

Sunday, March 19, 2023 | 4pm | Corinthian Baptist Church (1920 Tennessee Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45237)

CCJO Meets Gospel: Amazing Grace

Hallelujah! Our most popular concert ever is back. Joined once again by an all-star gospel choir led by A. Michael Cunningham, the CCJO will bring to life the music from great gospel artists including Aretha Franklin, Kurt Whalum, Saskia Dian, Lailah Hathaway and many more.

Choir Sponsors: Steve Magas and Lisa Davidson-Magas in memory of Lisa's mother, Hellen Davidson. Helen, as a mother of seven, pastor’s wife and full-time corporate worker, led a Church of God Gospel Choir for decades and also managed the Youth Choir, toured with the Davidson Family Singers and returned to CCM for additional music training to help her present complex cantatas to her congregation. Helen passed away in August 2022 at the age of 92. She would have adored the CCJO Meets Gospel program!


About the Artist: A. Michael Cunningham

Adrian Michael Cunningham is a native of Gadsden, Alabama, where he developed his love for music at a very young age. Through the support of his musically gifted family, Adrian started singing at the age of 4, playing violin at the age of 6 and playing saxophone at the age of 12. 
Adrian has played violin professionally and is an accomplished saxophonist. Adrian has also sung professionally as a baritone with Opera Birmingham. Adrian sang tenor in numerous gospel choirs and groups, and once he matriculated to the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), he started leading his own choirs. As a founding member and first student director of the nationally acclaimed UAB Gospel Choir, Adrian credits that training as a pivotal turning point in his life that propelled his love for teaching and directing.
Adrian has served as Minister of Music at New Jerusalem Baptist Church for over 16 years, leading the award-winning Rhythmic Sounds of New “J.” He also leads the Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra’s All-Star Gospel Choir and serves as Music Leader for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s Classical Roots Mass Choir. He is a highly sought Music Director, Music Clinician and consultant. In 2017, Adrian executively produced his choir’s debut CD titled In His Time which garnered 7 nominations from 2 awards shows. He wrote 5 of the 10 songs featured on the project.
Adrian holds degrees in Business Management and Classical Music Performance with a focus on Voice & Violin from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. 
Adrian serves as Board Director for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Vice President of the Chamber Music Cincinnati Board of Directors, Board Director & Fine Arts Chair for the Indian Hill Boosters, and President of the Cincinnati Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He is also a contributing music partner with Cincinnati Opera’s Opera Goes to Church series. In 2014, he received the Cincinnati Visitors Bureau’s Wendell P. Dabney Award for Diversity for his work with the CSO Classical Roots Choir and served as the Musical Director for the 2014 National Urban League Conference.

Adrian teaches voice, violin and saxophone privately, and is heavily involved in the community. In May 2023, Cunningham will receive the Outstanding Minister of Music Award from “I Hear Music.”
Adrian has been married for 22 years to the lovely Takiyah J. Cunningham, and they have three beautiful daughters: Dylan, Emery and Maison. They reside in Cincinnati, OH.

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