The Canaan Baptist Church Reunion Choir, made up of members of the former Young People’s Choral Ensemble, performed a concert at the Northwest Washington church recently to benefit the M. Cecil Mills Scholarship Fund.
The scholarship fund is named in honor of the founding pastor of the church, M. Cecil Mills, Jr., a firm believer in the saying, made famous by United Negro College Fund advertisements, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” The church scholarship fund awards financial assistance to active members of the church to help with post-secondary expenses as they pursue a course of study which will help them in their careers. Many of the young people in the choir benefited from the financial assistance and were excited about being able to make a contribution so that other young people could further their education..
Two of the group's former musicians, Rev. LaVera Day and Bro. Joseph Brown, accompanied the choir on piano and directed the program. Minister Alexis Alexander served as the choir director. Parents of former choir members and advisors were honored for mentoring the young performers during the early years.
The program also featured performances by two dance groups–the Daughters of Zion, a group of young adult women dancers, and the Sons of Freedom, a group of young boys, aged 7 to 12. The boys' group was founded to teach self-empowerment, life skills and character through dance training.
The benefit concert, which was held at the church at 16th and Newton streets NW, was attended by more than 200 people. The event was spearheaded by Bro. Rodney Allen with the assistance of Bro. Allen Willis and raised $1,300.00 for the scholarship fund.