Abyssinian Appoints Ramón Bryant Braxton as its new Director of Music Ministries

Abyssinian Baptist Church appoints Ramón Bryant Braxton as its new Director of Music Ministries & Fine Arts.

Ramón Bryant Braxton, a native of Tacoma, WA currently resides inFacetune_16-06-2018-10-08-13 Prince George’s County, MD. He received the B. A. degree in Music from Morehouse College and the M.A. in Music (Choral Conducting) from Morgan State University. While at Morehouse, he studied conducting under David E. Morrow, piano with Jefferson Ethridge, voice with Uzee Brown, Jr. and organ under David F. Oliver. He also served as accompanist of the world- renowned Morehouse College Glee Club and the Morehouse- Spelman Chorus. In 2003, he relocated to Baltimore, MD to pursue graduate studies with Nathan Carter, as his conducting protégé – becoming the last of many distinguished choral conductors to hold that apprenticeship. After Dr. Carter’s untimely passing, his graduate studies were completed under Benjamin Schneider of the Peabody Conservatory of Music and mentored by Tom Hall, Music Director of the Baltimore Choral Arts Society and Dr. W. James Abbington, noted sacred musicologist and organist.

Mr. Braxton began his work in church music as an accompanist at the age of twelve, assisting his grandparents who are all church musicians/ choir directors. Since, he has worked in several prominent churches including the historic Mount Zion Baptist Church of Seattle, WA; First Shiloh Baptist Church of Buffalo, NY; The Victory Church of Stone Mountain, GA, Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church; New Psalmist Baptist Church of Baltimore, MD; and the Douglas Memorial Community Church of Baltimore, MD. In May of 2018, he resigned his posts on the Vocal Music Department faculty of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts (Washington DC), and as Choral Director of the Metropolitan Baptist Church, Largo, MD, and the Capitol Hill SDA Church, Washington DC to assume the position as Director of Music and Fine Arts Ministries at the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, NY.

Mr. Braxton is not only one of the rising choral conductors of his generation, but also a composer, arranger and reputable lyric baritone and pianist. He is also the Founder/ Music Director of Four Brothers, a quartet that performs a broad range of historic and contemporary sacred music. Since 2006, he has served as a member of Soulful Symphony, recently conducting them in concert at the National African American Museum of History and Culture in Washington DC. As a solo artist his performances have been well- received by audiences in British Columbia, Quebec, Japan, Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy and Bermuda. He also traveled to Russia, performing in St. Petersburg’s American Music Festival while serving under Dr. Nathan Carter. He has been featured in recital at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center, Trinity Church Wall Street; and most recently, a featured artist for the grand opening of the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, AL. He is a recipient of several honors and citations for his musical contributions and accomplishments, but he is most proud of his scholarship granted by the family of Dr. Martin Luther King of Atlanta, GA for impacting the Atlanta Christian community through his dedication to education, excellence and diversity in sacred music.

His immediate plans are to continue his formal education, undertaking doctoral studies in conducting and sacred music. Withal, he hopes to continue his work with church music ministries to maintain inter-generational relevance in worship by strengthening their commitment to diversity, excellence, liturgical responsibility and sound theology in worship arts.


The Abyssinian Baptist Music Ministry will Premiere Cyrus Chestnut’s, “The Saga of the Cross!”

On April 14, 2017, the Abyssinian Baptist Music Ministry will premiere American jazz great Cyrus Chestnut’s, The Saga of the Cross, featuring the United Voices of Abyssinian, the Cyrus Chestnut Trio, brass, percussion and the Hammond B3 organ. The Abyssinian community is excited to share this extraordinary event with you, and we know it will bless all who hear and bear witness to this musical testimony during the Lenten season. Please visit the direct link below to purchase tickets!


Abyssinian Baptist Church Choir in Concert at Yale University

The Abyssinian Baptist Church Choir will present a free concert Friday, Oct. 21, at 7:30 p.m. in Woolsey Hall, 500 College St.

“Listen to the Lambs: Music from the African American Worship Experience” is the title of the event. Alumnus Nathaniel Gumbs M.M. ’11 will perform on the organ at the concert. The event is hosted by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. There will be open seating, so guests are encouraged to arrive early.


Conductor and Composer Brandon Waddles will lead the Cathedral Choir this Sunday!

aby brandon waddlesAby Musicians are excited to welcome back conductor Brandon Waddles, who will guest lead the Cathedral Choir and worship music this Sunday.
Brandon, a Detroit native, holds degrees from Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA) and Westminster Choir College (Princeton, NJ). He is a conductor, collaborative pianist and voice coach, as well as a published composer/arranger. Brandon has coached with such noted accompanists as Dalton Baldwin, Martin Katz, Jean Schneider, David Anthony Lofton and Clifford Jackson, and has collaborated on stage and in master classes with such famed singers as Angela Brown, George Shirley, Donnie Ray Albert, Vinson Cole, and Lauren Flanigan. His choral compositions and arrangements have been published with both the Evoking Sound and Westminster Choir series, and have been performed by choral ensembles around the country, including the Morehouse College Glee Club and the Westminster Choir.
In addition to Brandon’s choral compositions and arrangements, he has worked as a transcriber of classic gospel songs written by some of Detroit’s legendary gospel writers (Charles Nicks, Thomas Whitfield, etc.) to be added to some of the hymnal supplements published by GIA. Brandon has served on various music ministries throughout the country, including Hartford Memorial Baptist Church (Detroit, MI), the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church (Atlanta, GA), and our own Abyssinian Baptist Church, to name a few.
He has also, on several occasions, been called on as a lecturer on the subjects of the evolution of Black gospel music and the Negro spiritual. He is a member of the Detroit Musicians Association, the Atlanta Collegiate Artists Association, and the Metropolitan Atlanta Musicians Association, all of which are a part of the National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc., of which he is a member of the Collegiate Advisory Board.
In addition to his post at Westminster as director of the Jubilee Singers, Brandon currently serves as Composer-in-Residence at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton, as well as on the music ministry at First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens (Somerset, NJ).
Bio courtesy of GIA Publications. Photo courtesy of Westminster Choir College

The Abyssinian Baptist Church Music Ministry