By: Heaven Lee Murphy
Ellington Colley is a senior at Evan E. Worthing High School and the founder of Worthing Voices of Praise. Colley possesses a vocal gift of music which he shares with his fellow students.
When asked to describe Colley’s voice, his peers gave an array of feedback. Derica Davis compares Colley’s voice to one of a Baptist preacher.
“Ellington’s voice is amazing! It is as strong as an ox yet as smooth as butter. He’s only like 18 and he sings like he has so much wisdom. It takes decades to develop a voice like that, but Ellington has it now.” said Lawrence Johnson.
His voice is unlike any other his age. He has tremendous range. He can go from Berry White low to Mariah Carey high in a heartbeat. Prior to Colley’s arrival at Worthing, the school had not had a choir program in half of decade.
“I saw that a lot of my fellow students had the gift of music and there wasn’t a choir to channel their God given gift so I started HYPE” Colley said. HYPE stands for Harmonizing Youth Potential Ethics. HYPE began with but six members. They performed at every school program. HYPE was a regarded as Worthing’s praise team and the stepping stone for the school’s gospel choir.
“This is the year that Worthing Voices of Praise was born. It was a long road. We went from six members to 30 plus members.” said Colley, Worthing Voices of Praise is the school’s gospel choir. Colley thanks HYPE original member Jakiera Williams and Worthing High band director Ikeci Ojere for their support in the development of Worthing Voices of Praise.
Worthing’s choir has performed at school programs, awards ceremonies, community service events, and even senior living facilities. Worthing Voices of Praise gets invitations to perform all over the city.
Besides revitalising Worthing’s choir program, Colley is the founder of Man Up For Jesus at First Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church. This program is geared towards “at risk” males from ages 11 through 17. The program was founded by Colley, his father and his pastor.
“We teach boys to be men. We are like a family. We keep up with each other. We go places together. We share and compare life experiences. We learn and we grow with each other”. Said Colley.
Choir director, mentor, honor roll student and Homecoming King. Colley is a talented well rounded individual and is more than happy to share gifts with the world.