LeOne P. Champion
LeOne P. Champion a gifted singer and has been using her voice to inspire and encourage audiences throughout the U.S. Born in Bronx, New York and reared in Charlotte, North Carolina, she began singing in her local church choir at the age of seven and had begun to solo by the age of nine. She is known for her clear and distinct vocals.
She attended the University of Cincinnati where she sung in the gospel choir under the direction of Donald Lawrence. In addition, she has sung for various TV networks, was a lead vocalist for the Charlotte Community Chorale and appeared as a lead on their first studio project. She was also a guest performer for the National Radio Awards, and was a chosen vocalist for the National Anthem with the Minnesota Twins. Later she landed a recording contract under a newly developed label but went on to release her first CD independently in 2003 titled “Never Too Late”. She is currently writing for her second release.
Kamilah Furqaan was a member of The Chicago Flute Society in which she played The Civic Center and the Chicago Auditorium Theatre. She has played with such jazz artists as Chico Freeman, Visions Jazz Quartet, Enamon Jazz Band, Omo Wali, The Genesis Connection, Felicia Coleman-Evans, and was a member of the all female, African influenced, flute and percussions group “SAMANA”; As a member she appeared in a musical version of “Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Wasn’t Enough”. She has directed two successful school choirs, each having appeared on international television and radio. She has instructed dance troupes, coordinated school talent shows, organized field trips to the Lyric Opera House of Chicago and the School House of Blues Educational foundation, and the Meacham Youth Center in Chicago. Kamilah Furqaan is a mother, wife, multi-talented jazz flutist, vocalist, poet, actress, public and private school music teacher and a World School International Baccalaureate (Middle Years) Programme trained instructor.
Ms. Ashanti Gayden is West Point School of Music’s instructor on Clarinet. She began her musical studies at the age of 13 under the tutelage of her mentor Julian J. Champion, Executive Director of West Point School of Music.
Upon entering high school, she auditioned and was accepted to the Chicago High School for the Arts where she continued to excel in her musical studies; receiving superior and excellent ratings at regional and state contest. During this period, she studied Clarinet with Dr. Rose Sperrazza, Professor of Clarinet at Northeastern Illinois University and leader of the Chicago Clarinet Ensemble. She also sat under the tutelage of Mr. Cory Tiffin of the Las Vegas Philharmonic with whom she further developed her skill and craft as a clarinetist.
Ms. Gayden is a junior at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she is pursuing a major in music performance on the Clarinet. Her long term goal is to continue her work with West Point School of Music in hopes of one day overseeing all of its wind programs and helping to raise awareness of the critical need for music education in the environment and maturation of urban children. West Point School of Music is proud to have one of its own as an essential part of its team.
Manasseh “Doso” Champion
Manasseh Champion is a gifted trumpeter and hip hop artist on the local Chicago music scene. A graduate of the William Jones College Preparatory High School in downtown Chicago, Champion is truly in love with urban life and music. Manasseh commenced his musical studies at the age of seven quickly adopting his father’s instrument, the trumpet. He played throughout elementary and high school with a variety of concert, jazz and orchestral ensembles. Manasseh enjoys teaching the young musicians of West Point, suggesting that he inherits his passion for helping young people from the work he has seen his father devoted to over the years.
As a hip hop artist, Manasseh performs under the sobriquet “Doso”. His performances are energetic and strong with cutting, contemplative lyrics. Currently Manasseh is pursuing a degree in Music Business at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Mr. “Doso” Champion makes it clear that he is studying Music Business because music is his business.
Beaushay L. Norton
Beaushay Norton began his formal study of music at eleven under the tutelage of Julian J. Champion, and is a graduate of West Point School of Music. He studied the Trombone and Euphonium and played with the Evergreen Park High School Band, the Merit Wind Symphony, and the Red Shield Concert Band. He is a proud graduate of the Urban Prep Academy – Englewood Campus.
Currently, Mr. Norton is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Music in Jazz Performance from the University of Illinois at Chicago where he is the principal Euphoniumist in the UIC Concert Band and principal trombonist in the jazz ensemble. Beaushay is a perfect representative of West Point’s mission and is eager to help his students discover purpose and meaning for their lives.
Psyche T. Greenidge
Steel Pan Instructor (Summer Program Classes)
Ms. Greenidge is in demand as an arranger and performer both on the piano and steel drum. We are delighted to have her as a part of our team.
Arranger – Epic Steel Orchestra
A graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, DePaul University and Columbia College Chicago, Donny Walker is an active composer/arranger/orchestrator/music producer/sheet music editor/music contractor & performer throughout Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. Educational studies include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Lyric Opera and Chicago Jazz Ensemble. A past performer with all-star acts including: Aretha Franklin, The Ojays, The Dells, Peter and Gordon, Jennifer Holiday and many more. Local work includes performer with The Chicago Jazz Ensemble, Cerqua-Rivera Dance Theatre Company, Quest Theatre Company & Full Score Chamber Orchestra plus many local religious & educational institutions. An ambitious composer & large scale music producer Donny Walker has produced all styles of music for orchestras, rock, gospel, folk and jazz groups, choirs, big bands, film, video and more. In 2013 he was a featured composer/arranger/orchestrator for Full Score Chamber Orchestra & Lake Forrest Civic Orchestra under the baton of Ron Arden. As a sheet music editor he works extensively with orchestras, big band/jazz groups, rock and choral shows, traditional and contemporary shows not to mention numerous recording sessions for groups like the , Chicago Symphony Orchestra & It’s brass section, The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, the Gershwin Foundation, the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Jazz International Orchestra and the Bari Symphony. Prestigious composers he has worked with include; Orbert Davis (Composer/Music Director of the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic), Dr. Warrick Carter (past President of Columbia College), Ryan Cohen, and Joe Cerqua.