Dwayne Lewis ’19 Performs With Music Legend Diana Ross

Dwayne Lewis ’19 Performs With Music Legend Diana Ross

Senior Dwayne Lewis has appeared on NBC and PBS. He’s met John Legend, acapella group Pentatonix, and many others. He’s traveled all over the country and even as far as Japan, all with a song in his heart as he pursues his dream of professional vocal performance.


But last Thursday has left a particularly lasting impression, Dwayne says. “The type of energy I felt was different from other performances,” he remarks, “It all feels surreal, but this is the main event for Christmas, really. It was truly an honor.”


Dwayne is talking about the iconic lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, where as a member of the Young People’s Chorus of NYC he sang alongside music legend Diana Ross. Dwayne reminds me her legacy includes discovering Michael Jackson. Among her many accolades are her nominations for the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, and Grammys, her Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and her induction into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. It’s no wonder Dwayne considered this one of the highlight of his performance career: he was in the presence of a legend, performing alongside one of music’s greatest talents.


“It was cold,” Dwayne laughs, “But it was a wonderful experience. We had one rehearsal to get it together for a 500 person audience [not to mention those watching on TV]. We’ve been able to achieve a lot over the years. This is what I love to do.”


Dwayne is humble about his talent, but he has been performing with the Young People’s Chorus since 7th grade. He plans to pursue a dual major in vocal performance and music education for his college years. Dwayne astutely reasons that the dual major is not only representative of his interests but allows him career flexibility. In case performing full-time doesn’t work, he will be happy to pass his passion on to other, younger singers, sharing his love of music with those who may eventually follow in his footsteps. He is immensely grateful for the role St. Mary’s has played in this journey, especially the example of his teachers who have encouraged, led, and bolstered him for the past four years. He doesn’t have a “dream school,” per se, but he has a few top choices. Among these include Temple University, Johns Hopkins’ Peabody Institute, the University of Michigan, and Manhattan School of Music.


Due to his age, this will be his last year with the Young People’s Chorus. In February, he will enjoy his final winter tour to Savannah, Georgia. Later in the year, the group will go on international tour to Russia or Italy, Dwayne says. But Dwayne is optimistic about this change: he will always, in a way, be a part of the Young People’s Chorus. “There are always opportunities to remain connected,” he says, “They help you find a job, for instance…it’s a long-lasting family.”


It’s not over yet, though. One of his biggest performances is just around the corner. The Young People’s Chorus will be performing on Christmas Day on “Live with Kelly and Ryan.” After this, they will perform for the UN and at Carnegie Hall.


We at St. Mary’s are so proud of all that Dwayne has accomplished, and we know he will continue to do great things!