Former Concert Chorale Member Set To Release Second Album


One Bethune-Cookman University alumni is living his dream is the music business. 

Maurice Downing, 31, is an independent gospel artist who also is high school instructor and owner of a graphic design company. 

Downing's upcoming album cover
Downing's upcoming album cover

Downing, who currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, also is working in his second album to be called "Live On Purpose". His first album titled "Triumph" was released in 2012. 

Recalling his time here at B-CU, Downing said the road to success was not easy as every day he fought to disprove professors and administrators who wrote him off. 

"Do everything within purpose and follow exactly what Dr. Bethune says," Downing said in an interview. "Enter to learn and depart to serve. And, I have done exactly that," the Lakeland, Florida native said.

Still, looking back on his days at Bethune-Cookman, Downing is grateful that the university accepted him.

"Bethune-Cookman University was my last choice," said Downing, who attended the Harrison Art Center. "After being denied admission to University of Central Florida where I wanted to go, my mom gave me the last school application she had, which turned out to be B-CU. Within less than a week after I turned in my application, I received an invitation to attend. No other school responded so quickly. For that I was grateful," he said.

While at B-CU, he was a member of the Concert Chorale then under the direction of Dr. Rebecca Steele. When asked about his most memorable experience Downing remembered his senior project.

"Instructor Sylvester Polk helped me decide what I wanted to do. That project played as a catalyst to where I am today," Downing said.

In addition to the senior project, Downing remembers the Florida Classic events and hurricane evacuation. He recalled that on one occasion that he and a couple of his friends in the Concert Chorale decided to "have church" in front of some students who took shelter from the hurricane in the Performing Arts Center on campus. To Downing, that experience is special to this day.

By Deytia James