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Cleveland Men of Song celebrates 5th Anniversary

James W. Wade III | 11/6/2013, 11:37 a.m.
The service was on fire from the very first selection “From the Bottom of my Heart” written by Cleveland’s own ...

The Cleveland Men of Song celebrated their 5th anniversary Fri., Nov. 1, at the Mt. Zion Congregational Church located at 10723 Magnolia Drive to a full house of praise and worshipers.

In the past, they have featured special artists and this year for the celebration they featured three singers from the Cleveland area: Leathia Williams, Sabrina Robinson, and none other than the one and only Lucretia Bolden.

The service was on fire from the very first selection “From the Bottom of my Heart” written by Cleveland’s own Rev. Beverly Coffield who has pen some great songs. Leathia walked the aisles doing what God has blessed her to do while belting out the song Packing Up.

Robinson came up and sang to her track and had everyone standing and giving her praise. Lucretia came and wreck house with her rendition of Encourage Yourself. Fellows thanks all of his supporters for the years since he started.

The Cleveland Men of Song is an all male chorus that performs all types of music including secular, gospel and African. The wonderful men’s choir was the brain child of Carlton Fellows who had a vision of putting a group of men together to sing in a chorus in a way unheard of in the Cleveland area.

Fellows, a well-known vocalist and musician, felt the need to assemble a chorus that would resemble a collegiate glee club more than a typical gospel quartet.

“It had been on my heart for many years. I love to hear men harmonizing,” said Fellows.

A Cleveland native, Fellows has been a music director for over 35 years at a number of churches such as Mt. Olive Baptist Church, Sardis Baptist Church and Temple Baptist Church, all in Cleveland. He also has been singing professionally for 20 years and has performed with the London Symphony Orchestra.

In December 2007, Fellows had organized the first rehearsal of the Cleveland Men of Song. And five years later, they are celebrating the survival of the group consisting of men from ages 35 to 82.

Their debut performance was held on Feb. 8, 2008 at the First United Methodist Church in Cleveland. They had about 75 men in the chorus. If you were there, you remember that cold night where cars were parked everywhere.

The Cleveland Men of Song have been able to bring to the public’s attention a group of positive Black men. Fellows said people like seeing these men standing up and united. The men are from different denominations, educational and professional backgrounds, including teachers, entrepreneurs, and vice presidents of companies.

Fellows shared how, after the debut in 2008, he wasn’t planning on doing anything else. But the members kept asking when they were getting back together. So, they decided to remain together and continue spreading wonderful music and joy through song.

Since that inaugural concert, more men have joined the chorus and the number of concert requests has grown. Fellows, a gifted vocalist and musician has traveled the world spreading joy and inspiration through his gift of song.

Cleveland Men of Song Choir has shared its message of love & inspiration with hundreds of thousands of people in these couple of years. Through their dynamic performances the Men of Song helps to create a better understanding of the African-American culture & the inspirational music called gospel as it relates to the Black Church.

Through the eyes of these highly influential individuals and musical groups we peer out across the landscape of popular music and are left in awe at the impact that they had on the songs that now define our day the lives that were changed because of their efforts.