Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ray Charles Stamp Unveiled at Booker T. Washington High School for the performing and visual arts

Ray Charles Stamp 

The United States Postal Service selected  Booker T. Washington (BTW) High School for the Performing and Visual Arts as the site to honor music icon Ray Charles and to unveil the Ray Charles Stamp.

Students and community celebrated the life of Ray Charles while recalling his time of residence and career development here in Dallas. 

BTW High School Jazz Combo 1
The Posting of Colors by North Dallas High School JROTC, commanded by CSM Blaine Stewart and the Invocation  by student Jake Robinson  positioned the audience for the ceremony.

Stamp Unveiling Audience
Long-time  BTW teacher  Bart Marantz shared fond memories of his career encounters with the genius of Ray Charles.  He then conducted six student artists of  the BTW Jazz Combo 1 in A Tribute to Ray, skillfully arranged and executed.

Roger Boykin, BTW Principal Rudes and community
National jazz artist Roger Boykin told guests he first saw Ray Charles when nine year old Boykin was selected as one of the students at H.S. Thompson Elementary who had 15 cents to pay for the performance.   Years later he was invited 5 times to travel and perform with Ray Charles but was never in a position to accept the opportunity.  To to immense audience delight, Boykin performed one of his favorite, but little known Ray Charles songs.

Additional performances by Wilma Johnson, Postmaster, Rowlett, TX and Dallas-based playwright Dianne Tucker mesmerized the audience.

Ray Charles - America, The Beautiful