Juneteenth Choir

SUNDAY, JUNE 16TH, 2024 AT 2:30 P.M.

June 16th, 2024, the Voices of Juneteenth Celebrating Freedom Community Choir will be held at Bethel Assembly of God Church, 12th and Jefferson in Quincy, starting at 2:30 p.m. This wonderful event will feature guest directors Ms. Koretta Sykes and Mr. Marquis Smith.

At the age of nine, she began singing in the church choir at Gospel Tabernacle Church in Cedar Rapids and studied music under Pastor Mary Beets for nineteen years. She was mentored by Bishop Tony Lane and Sidney Haynes during this tenure.

Koretta went on to direct many local choral music and partnered with the late Ron Teague, who taught her how to play the organ and a method of teaching vocal parts that she still uses today. She was also one of the choir directors for the Voices of Soul Gospel choir at the University of Iowa, directing and singing in biannual concerts at Hancher Auditorium for twelve years.

Koretta has served 30 years as a vocal teacher at the Cathedral of Worship under the leadership of Bishop EL Warren. She has served 19 years as a choir teacher at Chaddock Youth Organization, working with youth and children from all over the world. Koretta also Served on the 2019 Suicide Awareness Behind the Mask fundraiser as the music director of the community choir.

Koretta completed her bachelor’s in theology through Life Christian University Quincy, IL campus, and is a licensed Hearing Instrument Specialist practicing at Miracle Ear in Quincy IL, Carthage IL, Pittsfield IL, and Hannibal MO.

Recently, Koretta formed Karing Kulture, a mission to Kare for the Kommunity, advocating for Karegivers and those battling mental illness. The Karing Kulture Kommunity Khoir is a component of K3, which aims to bridge the gap of race, political, and social barriers to worship God in song.

As a recording Artist, Koretta has recorded the songs “Faithful and Holy” and “My Soul Has Been Anchored,”  along with her cd “Free to Worship”

As an author and songstress, Koretta shares her transparent story and life lessons in her book, “The Journal of a Denied Worshipper (from the inside out).” She wants others to recognize that everyone has a story of personal dysfunction and disappointment, as well as victory and accomplishment. Through faith and being faithful, she learned that it is the only posture for survival in this race called life.

Marquis Smith is a native of Mexico Mo, he grew up not knowing or liking anything Musical until the 7th grade when he found his love for piano, that same year he spent time learning and playing under the direction of minister Will Lyons until he was in the 8th grade and he took over as the minister of music for Second Missionary Baptist Church of Mexico Mo.

During his time as minister of Music, Marquis played and directed the choir every Sunday and Wednesday night rehearsals.

Outside of his ministry in the church, he got to participate in many outside events including Juneteenth celebrations, baccalaureates, and various camp worship ministries and often traveled mid-Missouri with the Second Baptist Choir.

Upon graduating High School Marquis went to Culver Stockton College where he studied music with an emphasis on vocal and piano performance. He did this for 3 years until he felt a strong pull to pursue the ministry God had placed on his heart. Marquis now resides in Quincy Il where he is the Middle School Director at The Crossing 48th St. He also oversees worship from kids to young adults. He is married to Erin Smith from Versailles Illinois and they have 2 dogs and 1 cat.

Do you want to help?

For those interested in singing or playing, please visit Join Our Choir.