“It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over” — New York Yankee Great, Yogi Berra

Great news for Wilberforce University’s choir and marching band, as members of the HBCU Symphony. This is a group of 10 historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) whose talents are heard on the gospel album, The Now Testament.

The university family learned Friday, November 10, that the much anticipated 2024 Grammy nomination in the Best Gospel Album category did not come to fruition for the symphony, specifically for the Wilberforce band and choir which are featured on the album’s song, “Kingdom Party.” However, the university recently learned that the HBCU Symphony’s performance is heard on Grammy winning poet J. Ivy’s 2024 Grammy nominated Best Spoken Word Poetry Album, The Light Inside. This means the WU band (the Hounds of Sound) and choir are participants in a Grammy nominated production.

“J. Ivy has been an amazing supporter of the HBCU Symphony and we here at Wilberforce are proud to rally behind the people who rally behind us,” said Jasmyn Cooper, WU director of vocal music and ensembles. “Certainly we were disappointed that *The Now Testament* wasn’t nominated but now all of the HBCU Symphony students, directors and musicians on the J. Ivy spoken word album can claim credits for performing on a Grammy nominated work.”

J. Ivy has a special connection to a Wilberforce area native son who has done well in the music industry. Ivy, upon meeting a young John Stephens from Springfield, Ohio many years ago, was so taken by the budding artist’s superb talent that he suggested he change his last name from Stephens to Legend, and the rest, as we all know, is history.

Yogi Berra was right. “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”  The Grammy Awards will be televised Sunday, February 4, 2024.  The Wilberforce University community will be watching with pride.