Wiley College choir adds to 'Birth of a Nation' soundtrack
LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - Wiley College is getting another nod from Hollywood. A decade ago Denzel Washington shot "The Great Debaters," this time the Wiley College A Capella Choir sang "I couldn't Hear Nobody Pray" specifically for the film "Birth of a Nation" which opened in theaters October 7.
Assistant Professor of Music Stephen Hayes said he was humbled to be a part of Nate Parker's Debut film. Nate Parker became familiar with Wiley College acting in the film "The Great Debaters".
"It's been a beautiful, somewhat of a roller-coaster ride for us, but it's been a great ride, so we've enjoyed it. We're all excited. We had an opportunity to go out and sing at the premiere. That was very special for our students and for me," Hayes said.
Junior Danielle Buckner Still can't believe she was not just at the film's premiere, but performing there.
"It was amazing. It was something I've never even imagined doing. I mean I came from Little Rock, Arkansas, coming here. I never even thought I would go to L.A. I thought we would do local churches and stuff like that, but it was amazing," Buckner said.
James Morgan III sings the lead in the sing now, but in "Birth of a Nation," it's sung by Wiley College alum:
"Louis Keys sang 'Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray' on the soundtrack and that's somebody I've learned from. He's an awesome guy; awesome singer and he's a mentor to me. I've picked up a lot from him," Morgan said.
The song is pulled from Professor Hayes' past, performed as you might hear it decades ago in a church.
"It just touches that fundamental element in a person," Hayes added.
So much so that they got a standing ovation performing at the "Birth of a Nation" premiere. For a few minutes, the choir was stars to the stars.
If you'd like to hear The Wiley College A Capella Choir sing "I Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray," click here.
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