By Sherlene Shanklin
In today’s Your Story. Their name has changed but their music remains the same bringing all genres of music to West Louisville. I talk to the founder about their success. You recognize them as the West Louisville Boys Choir.
In 1990, McDaniel Bluitt started The West Louisville Performing Arts Academy originally named the Moore Temple Boys Choir. In 2002, the choir expanded by adding girls to the program.
McDaniel says “We started the program because kids needed a way they can be engaged positively and doing the kinds of things that can make them productive members of the community.”
Two current students, Sylvia Lontz and Alexandria Bluitt were introduced to the program differently but both believe it’s an amazing opportunity and everyone feels like family.
Sylvia Lontz is heading to Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) this fall. She says “I personally found out about this choir from my former choir director at Central High School. He introduced it to me. I though it would be an amazing opportunity for me and my younger sister.”
Alexandria Bluitt is currently in high school but understands the importance of legacy. She says “I’ve been in this choir ever since I was 4 or 5 years old. Considering my grandparents started the choir. This choir gave me a sense of family, not because they started it but because of the connections I made with people in this choir.”
The program is a melting pot of talents discovered within each child. A. Bluitt goes on to say “It gives me a sense of structure. For me personally anyway and I believe everyone needs a foundation to build on top of.”
M. Bluitt says “It’s a part of our slogan its more than just music…its more than just singing because children bring with us whatever they have with them at the time. Some have training prior to coming to me while others haven’t.”
They’ve had a chance to travel and perform all over the world from Bahamas to Las Vegas, and all over the state of Kentucky. With that exposure caused some of his former students to think out of the box. Key’mon Murrah & Kay’mon Murrah both participated in the program. As adults they are both classically trained.
Key’mon is moving to New York. He says “I’m going to Juilliard in the fall for a graduate diploma. And then I have me Opera debut this winter.”
Kay’mon remains in the area to help others interested in the arts. He says “I’m working with Kentucky Opera at various events but right now im working as a board member for the public arts commission in Lexington, KY. So that’s been really fulfilling. “
Mr. Bluitt says “Music evolves its never to stay the same.” And so does its leadership. His son Joshua will take the helm and carry on the tradition. Bluitt says he will still be around consulting and help counsel but feels it’s the right time to pass the baton so his son can take the program even further.
McDaniel says “One of the things its accomplishing its helping to dispel the myth in the minds of so many people. Not just Black people, White people m Jewish people not just men but men and women. They get a chance to see the program that’s holistic. They get a chance to see the program as positive and believe it or not got their children in it. That’s ongoing and I’m proud of that.”
Kay’mon says “You have to be open for new things and be willing to absorb it all. I really believe once you start that process you will be able to fly anywhere.”
The West Louisville Performing Arts Academy has a 100% graduation rate and they now enjoy new home for their program. You can now find their studio in the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage at 17th and West Ali. To support go to www.wlpaa.org.
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