The Power Of Sacred Music (Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs)

Instructor: Rev. Zynora D. Mason
(Tuesdays - 3/29, 4/05, 4/12, and 4/19 @ 7:00pm - 8:30pm)

This course will provide an introduction to the purpose of Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs while examining the differences and similarities of each genre. Students will explore a brief history, analyze structures in the music, and review the emphasis and effects of how the culture of the people and composers' lives impacted these various sacred styles. Participants will emerge with an understanding of the importance of ancestral contributions, while creating a passion for a balanced diet in music ministry designed to meet the needs of the diverse ages of worshippers.

Rev. Zynora D. Mason

The beginning – Reverend Zynora D. Manson was born in Sandston, Virginia on September9, 1954 to the late Deacon Henry Davis, Sr. and Deaconess Ada Davis. Rev. Manson professed belief in Jesus as her Savior at the age of six and was baptized by the late Rev. George W. Manning of Bethany Baptist Church, where she began serving as church organist at the tender age of 11 for the Senior Choir. She continued that commitment until she was 21 years of age. She was educated in the Henrico Public Schools, where she was inducted into The National Honor Society and implemented the first Black History Month at Highland Springs High School in 1970.

For the past 56 years, Rev. Manson has served God’s people and worked in the Kingdom in music ministry. For 32 years, Rev. Manson has been preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ in (missions). She served as thefirst female and former pastor of Bethany Baptist Church in Sandston, Virginia for 18 years. Through her experiences in both fields, God has “shaped” her ministry and made room for her gifts in Richmond, Norfolk, Fairfax, and Arlington, Virginia.

After graduating high school, Rev. Manson worked to attain money to send herself to college. She worked for Henrico County Personnel Department and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. At the age of 21, Rev. Manson decided to ask the President of Anthem Blue Shield to allow her to transfer to Virginia Beach, Virginia to work part-time while attending Norfolk State University for a Music Education Degree. The request was granted and she continued to work at Anthem part-time until she graduated.

While attending Norfolk State University, Rev. Manson played for various churches, finally landing a job as Minister of Music at New Hope Baptist Church in Chesapeake, Virginia. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in1979 from Norfolk State University majoring in Music Education and furthered her education with scholarships at The University of Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut; The New England Conservatory, Boston Massachusetts; George Mason University, Fairfax Virginia; The University of Virginia, Charlottesville; Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, Virginia; The University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia; Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia;, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina. Her educational accolades include selection for Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities and Student Teacher of the Year for the Norfolk State Music Department.

Rev. Manson served as a music educator for 40 years in the counties of Fairfax and Henrico, Virginia. Some of her recognitions for her expertise include The R.E.B. Teaching Award of Excellence allowing her the opportunity of traveling to Cairo, Luxor; Edfu, Egypt, and Rome, Italy, She received The Telly Award and Distinguished Communicator Award for the documentary, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which aired on Henrico County Channel 99. Because of Rev. Manson’s excellent Musicianship, three of her school choruses were selected to sing for four Virginia Governors: L. Douglas Wilder, James S. Gilmore, Terry McAuliffe and Mark R. Warner.