Dr. Marlena Smalls
"THE VOICE OF GULLAH"
Actress. Speaker. Singer. Historian. Educator. Entertainer.
THE HALLELUJAH SINGERS
Marlena Smalls presents The Hallelujah Singers to entertain and inspire audiences worldwide with their spiritual or blues performances including music and narration to celebrate and preserve the West African heritage which shaped today's Gullah culture.
The Hallelujah Singers were organized to preserve the melodies and storytelling unique to the South Carolina Sea Islands. The ensemble is a national and international art provider offering cultural enrichment through preserving and celebrating the heritage of the Gullah culture with language and traditions indelibly linked to West African heritage.
Performances weaving music and narration present a dramatization of unique personages, rituals and ceremonial dimension which played an important part in shaping the Gullah culture and its influence on the broad musical traditions.
The Hallelujah Singers travel extensively as Gullah ambassadors, teaching and entertaining in schools, auditoriums and festivals in their Fa Da Chillun Outreach Program. They have performed for the U. S. Congress, the South Carolina legislature, in Chicago's Ravinia festivals, the Kennedy Center, the Spoleto Festival and the G-8 Summit.
The group has been designated a Local Legacy of South Carolina by the U. S. Library of Congress as part of the library's Bicentennial Celebration and was named South Carolina Ambassadors of the year in 1998. Other awards include the South Carolina Folk Heritage Advocacy Award the Alpha Kappa Community Service Award, the Rockford (Illinois) Mayor's Award and the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner award (South Carolina Governor's award for the arts).