JACOB H. CARRUTHERS FOR INNER CITY STUDIES
As young as 4 years old, Sylvia recalls memories of innocently singing her nursery rhymes as her father stood by, recording every last note. A singer himself, Larry Fedrick contributed his beautiful voice to a quartet as a child and, later, the church choir. He never actively pursued a career in gospel music, but would go on to influence that of his musically inclined family, especially his young daughter, Sylvia.
Often singing to her as a child, the influences of Sylvia's father would serve as a foundation upon which Sylvia would grow as an artist, taking with her the sweet melodies of such revered musicians as Sam Cook, Nat King Cole, Dakota Staten, and Billy Eckstine.
Sylvia's involvement in school and community organizations on Chicago's South Side led to her membership in the Walter H. Dyett elementary school choir. This sparked Sylvia's interest and initiated formal vocal training under the instruction of Naomi Petty. She bettered her vocal range and maintained her involvement at Lindblom Technical High School where she graduated with the honor of "most talented."
Post-graduation, Sylvia continued her craft, singing in weddings and church plays, while participating in a young-adult choir at the Calvary Baptist Church. But, as life would have it, a series of missed connections and wrong turns left Sylvia defeated and disappointed. Sylvia thought she had somehow missed her chance at a career in gospel music...
Sylvia at a Glance...
* During the 1980s, House Music dominated mainstream music. Sylvia contributed as a backup singer for many local groups, including "Rare Form" and "Kajsa."
* Many of her nights were spent hitting the pavement in search of her next gig or participating in open mic night at the Cotton Club.
* While pursuing her next big break, Sylvia became side-tracked by a suitor and was married in 1991.
* In 1997, Sylvia's marriage ended in divorce and she was again on the music scene.
* James T. Meeks is the senior pastor of Chicago's Salem Baptist Church where Sylvia has been a member for the past 11 years.
* In 1998, she joined the choir under the direction of Minister Walter Owens who led Sylvia to Russia on a music ministry.
* Convinced that her life should be more than what it was and that her "day job" in the mortgage business was not enough, Sylvia prayed to God for a path back into the music industry. Her prayers were answered...
* Sylvia's musical influences include Minnie Riperton, Deniece Williams, Stephanie Mills, Patrice Rushen, and Tramaine Hawkins.
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Tags: Gospel, Vocalist
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