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Knoelle Higginson

Lecturer, Soul Voices

Ahmaya Knoelle Higginson, is the Director of the Purchase Soul Voices Ensemble, an award winning teaching artist and global performer, and Co-Founder and Artistic Director of The Mama Foundation for The Arts

Ahmaya attended The Manhattan School of Music for Jazz Vocal Studies and graduated from the American Musical And Dramatic Academy (AMDA) for Musical Theater studies. Ahmaya has toured world stages singing in various productions including Porgy and Bess and starring in Mama I Want To Sing!

Ahmaya and her mother Vy Higginsen, creator of the musical Mama I Want To Sing!, built The Mama Foundation forthe Arts, a 501(c) 3) Non-Profit music and arts institution, to pass on their knowledge and history of the music and theater industry. They have built curriculums which have served thousands of youth and adults by providing free music and performance education for the past 20 years.

With the continuing mission to preserve African American music as an art form through future generations, Ahmaya gathered students from her Harlem institution and founded Sing Harlem, the award winning commercial traveling ensemble and choir in which Ahmaya currently serves as Artistic and Musical Director. Ahmaya has booked, curated and musically directed opportunities for the group including: with SZA on Saturday Night Live and the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, with Chance The Rapper on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and with Ariana Grandeat the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting and more.  Additionally Sing Harlem has performance credits with Pharrell Williams, Alesia Cara, Likke Li, Madonna, headlining Brooklyn’s AFROPUNK, Carnegie Hall, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the APOLLO theater and Chicago’s Ravinia Festival.