ALTON — The YWCA is looking for members of the Allen Singers, an all-female vocal group who were recognized for their treble harmony and performed for more than 40 years from June 1968 until 2006 when their director, Laurean J. Wooten-Mike, moved away.
The YWCA plans to honor the Allen Singers at an event in early 2015. The Singers were founded as an integrated choir and included some of this area’s most prominent voices for racial justice, including Hazel Killion, Josephine Beckwith, Mary Hyndman, Roberta Berry and Rose Rhetta. Longtime Allen Singer Rose Rhetta remembers that the mission of the group was “Serving God and mankind through music.”
They performed for 42 years at their own concerts and by invitation at events. The YWCA has historic files of sheet music and programs. They are compiling photos, videos and audios to produce a comprehensive history of the group along with an oral history of many of the members.
In early 2015, the YWCA plans to honor the Allen Singers for their contribution to the community. Many of the 94 members have moved away or died, but many are still in the area. Former members or people who know members can contact the YWCA at (618) 465-7774.
The YWCA will host the Allen Singers at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, for brunch, a review of the history and suggestions for the YWCA Legacy Event honoring the Allen Singers in early 2015.