We’re Moving!!!

When a cast & crew as talented & capable as Illumination develops in under 12 months, you have to MOVE quickly.  And that’s just what we’re doing…we’re moving on UP.  We’re moving Uptown…right into the center of the city.

As Illumination closed out the 2013/2014 performance season, the Illumination leadership team targeted three primary goals.

They are:
1) Increase the size of the cast
2) Find a new weekly rehearsal space
3) Build a greater awareness of our efforts

In order for Illumination to achieve regional recognition for excellence in arts performance, leadership training, & community impact, we determined that we must move from our previous home in Matthews NC and into the center of the Queen City.  As artists and other organizations from around the Metropolitan area become aware of the opportunities presented by Illumination, we know that we must be geographically positioned to better respond to such interest and growth.

Why Uptown Charlotte?  The Queen City

Charlotte center city (also known as Uptown) is the central area of Charlotte, North Carolina. The headquarters for the Fortune 500 companies Bank of America and Duke Energy are located here, as well as the headquarters for East Coast operations for Wells Fargo.

Museums, sporting venues, shops, hotels, and restaurants are heavily concentrated in the city center.  New museums such as the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and the Mint Museum of Modern Art opened in 2010. Charlotte’s center city employs more than 100,000 people and more than 25 million visitors come to Charlotte’s center city to visit a year.

That’s a lot of action and Illumination will be positioned within it so that we may accomplish our mission on a larger scale!  In order for our cast of artists to receive the best training, the best exposure, the best opportunity to accomplish the most measurable good, we must be in an environment that will foster, create, and sustain our initiatives.

Our new home will be on the beautiful campus of FBC-Charlotte at 301 S Davidson St, Charlotte, NC 28202First Baptist Charlotte.  Illumination is deeply thankful to the executive staff of First Baptist Charlotte for making this exciting move possible for us.

Onwards and upwards…we look forward to sharing more news with you as we complete this summer’s auditions and design a performance schedule that is sure to illuminate, inspire, and elevate.

Creativity with a Purpose,

A Strong Inaugural Year Comes to a Close

Illumination ChoirLast night’s presentation was a strong close to a strong inaugural year!

“Cupcakes and Carols by Candlelight” and “Trifles & Truffles…a dishy revue” were superlative presentations of our signature menu, music, and message approach.  The charismatic and playful cast of performers, ranging in age from 15 to 21 years old, skillfully presented an eclectic program of Disney, Broadway, & spiritual favorites while our guests enjoyed a variety of homemade truffles, trifles, cake pops, and other confectionery accoutrements.  The evening summarily celebrated the joys and memories of childhood while featuring the beautiful work of our community partner, On Eagles Wings.

Illumination seeks your prayers, input, and assistance as we work to position ourselves for an even more effective 2014-2015 season.  Here are our immediate goals for the summer as we move towards the new season:

1)  Build a cast of 15 members.  Preparations for auditions have already begun as we make our plans for our next experiential presentation, “Fondue & Frappé…a festive soirée”…scheduled December 2014.
2)  Find a new rehearsal and performance venue.  The gracious generosity of First Baptist Matthews throughout our opening year has been deeply appreciated.  For 10 months, they have been a home to Illumination rehearsals, shows, and meetings.  Due to our growth and our goals, we must seek venues that continue to align with our vision and our progress.  The need for a larger performance stage, larger seating capacity, better audio/video/lighting support, and a more centrally located base of operations will strengthen Illumination’s ability to train our artists, develop leaders, and more effectively accomplish measurable good for our community partners.
3)  Schedule small-scale performances and cast appearances around the community in order to increase awareness of Illumination and our work.

Your attendance last night and last November was overwhelmingly encouraging. We look forward to having you as our guests again as we plan, prepare, and present two brand new experiences in an effort to illuminate, inspire, and elevate.  It is our desire to accomplish measurable good, to fight the darkness, & to build better people.

Our deepest thanks to the “Father of lights”, our donors, our audiences, our business partners, the cast & families of Illumination, & to our present community partners, “Truth and Mercy” & “On Eagles Wings”!  We are grateful for the support of our cast & their mission.

Fondue & Frappé

December 2014

Be Our Guest!


“Trifles and Truffles…a dishy revue”
Tuesday, May 27 @ 7PM
185 S. Trade Street
Matthews, NC 28105

From the producers of “Cupcakes and Carols by Candlelight”, Illumination Choir presents a whole new experience featuring an array of rich truffles & fun trifles, enjoyed during a menagerie of entertaining, lighthearted, and inspirational scenes from popular musicals, chart toppers, classical standards, and more.
Your ticket purchase goes towards the financial support of On Eagles Wings Ministries.  

OEWM seeks to
prevent females from falling victim to sex trafficking,
offer assistance to those still trapped,
and restore those who have survived by offering
hope, empowerment, and a brighter future.

Purchase your tickets online or purchase them from a member of our cast.

Featuring performances from:

“Frozen”, “Wicked”, “Toy Story”, “Tangled”, “Sound of Music”…and more!

Concert Tickets!

Illumination presents... Your new holiday favorite.

Illumination presents…
Your new holiday favorite.

This is it!  The night of nights!  No more rehearsing or nursing a part, we know our songs by heart!
Join us for a lovely evening of sweet decadence, illuminating performances, and holiday cheer.
Our artists have been rehearsing for several weeks, learning lessons on leadership, and preparing to meet YOU!

You are cordially invited to join us for “Cupcakes and Carols by Candlelight” on Saturday, November 30 at 6:00 PM on the campus of First Baptist Church, Matthews NC.  Dress up, dress casual, come hungry, and come with expectant spirits.

We will perform favorites, new songs, and share stories of life, love, and celebration.

Tickets are $10 and include desserts, beverage, and a wonderful holiday concert.  You can purchase your tickets online by clicking the “Buy Now” below.  You do not have to have a PayPal account in order to purchase from this page.  If you do not have a PayPal account, look at the bottom of the PayPal screen once you click “Buy Now”, and click the appropriate link.  You may also purchase your tickets from one of our artists or over the phone.  Simply email us at illuminationchoir@gmail.com and someone will contact you promptly.

A portion of all ticket proceeds will go towards the pro-life efforts of Truth & Mercy Ministries.  The remainder will go cover the cost of the concert.  We are pleased to be able to say that all leaders, teachers, and performers within Illumination do not receive compensation for their involvement.

Thank you for your support of our artists and our community!

Merry Christmas!

Creativity with a purpose,

Cupcakes and Carols

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards


Illumination presents... Your new holiday favorite.

Illumination presents…
Your new holiday favorite.

Our auditions are completed.
Our artists are selected.
Our rehearsal schedule is established.
Our performance is scheduled.
Our community cause has been adopted.
The train is leaving the station!

Check out our young artists for the 2013-2014 performance season by clicking HERE.

We look forward to keeping you updated about our preparations for our first concert, “Cupcakes and Carols by Candlelight”.  You can follow us here, “like” us on Facebook, “follow” us on Twitter, and join us on the evening of November 30.

Creatively & Purposefully yours,


Auditions! La, la, la, la, la, la, laaaaaa….

Register today!

Register today!

Our first night of auditions was, in a word, illuminating.  Singer, after singer, after singer, quickly put face-morphing smiles on my face and filled my heart with beauty and humility as I was given a brief glimpse, from the audience, of what great personalities, great minds, great talents, great parenting, and determined hard work can achieve in the lives of young people.

Dolores Broadway accompanied beautifully from the piano.  Davis Carman expertly put students at ease as he asked insightful questions.  The comfort and elegance of the room at First Baptist Church in Matthews did not struggle in any way to match the hopes and visions for this new endeavor we call “Illumination Choir”.  The evening was a wonderful experience from start to finish.

There is one last evening of auditions scheduled for Tuesday, September 3.  Again, they are from 4 to 8 PM.  Register for your time slot on this site.  I look forward to meeting you and hearing your story and your song.

Purposefully and creatively,

Some quick thoughts on Art, Pleasure, and Purpose

I’m, by a nature, an outdoors person. Whether I’m walking, running, kayaking, hiking, canoeing, or SITTING, I love communing with my mind, my God, and my heart within the sanctuary of nature. It is not so much an escape as it is a cleansing and filtering of the day; conscious and subconscious.
While walking the nature preserve next to my neighborhood, enjoying its vibrant and teeming ecosystem, my mind wandered to the subject of art, pleasure, and purpose. So, as I am prone to do…I meandered.

Please note, these thoughts address the arts from a Christian perspective. They are the opinions of an individual who serves his Christian community with and through artists and the arts.
Illumination-Art Word Art
Art, generally speaking, provides an emotional and/or reflective experience for an observer because it is typically birthed from a bed of emotion and/or thought within the creator. The work of creating an artistic expression is an inner collaborative process of the maker’s psyche; mental, emotional, and spiritual, partnering with the maker’s physical efforts to create a tangible and/or experiential product. Simply put, an artist is compelled to get the idea(s) out of their inner selves and put it outside of themselves for someone else to receive.

The act of intentionally presenting art for public consumption should be compelled by a desire to promote and/or achieve a higher purpose within the individuals or the community; either an elevation of thought or the illumination of understanding. If the originating purpose of presenting a work of art is rooted in an exclusive desire to achieve nothing other than personal pleasure or gain, then the artist (defined as one having a gift to weave thought and emotion for the purpose of compelling sensation) has abandoned the programming of Original Design and is pandering to and promoting self-love which destroys Christian community and embraces atheistic humanity. There is no legacy. There is no worth. There is no significance. There is nothing more than an undulating emotional wave that will break itself in time leaving no trace of good…but potentially helps to pave the path for others to pursue the same destructive course of self-love.

In the corporate worship experience of the Church, the enduring artistic works have come to represent altars of remembrance of God’s grace, mercy, and presence in our lives’ circumstances. This is an effectual gift of God to us. How many times do we hear songs, or read poems, or view images that result in an edifying “flashback” of interventions in our lives we know to be the work of God? There is a risk, however, in sequestering these works and our creative artistic efforts for this sole purpose. We must work to avoid permitting the arts to only PRESERVE a culture of faith. If they cease to do more than safeguard anthropological exercises of preferred religious ritual, then we are back to self-love and a sense of godlessness in the things about which we become passionate. The arts in worship should always present a God that is ALIVE and PRESENT; presently engaging the culture for the purpose of redeeming it and restoring it.

Therefore, it should not be our desire, the artist or the worshiper, to offer each other, or our God, the same songs, same offerings, same gifts over and over for they begin to cost us nothing in spirit, thought, or effort. Such a practice is the result of ignorance to Truth and an absence of Relationship. In the Old Testament, you will find that offerings presented in worship were offered, left, and consumed. To come again meant to come with something new and, important to note, something that was the result of purposeful effort, process, preparation, and thought.

Brief aside: Regarding the contemporary and modernist trends that have been developing in Christian art and corporate worship for decades; though I do not believe that the arts should archive history, we should be careful not to reject the works of the past. It is important to recognize the significance of their testimony. No act of God is disposable and, therefore, no work of art conceived from His intervention in a believer’s life should be either. Consumable? Yes. Disposable? Absolutely not. Though we know His mercies are new every morning, yesterday’s mercy delivered the morning to us.