top of page

"Symphonic Brilliance: Nia Imani Franklin Shines with the Winston-Salem Symphony!"

Updated: May 13

By Dr. Brittney Clinton | May 13, 2024 | 7:30 PM ET

On Saturday, May 11, 2024, Nia Imani Franklin, the embodiment of talent and grace, illuminated the stage with an awe-inspiring performance alongside the esteemed Winston-Salem Symphony, leaving audiences spellbound and exhilarated. In a night that will be etched in the annals of musical greatness, Franklin's ethereal voice soared through the concert hall, captivating hearts and minds with every note. The performance was held at the R. J. Reynolds Auditorium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, which is also Franklin's hometown. The Winston Salem Symphony Board of Directors Chair, Mr. Jay Reed, expressed his thanks over a recorded video to Ms. Franklin and the Winston Salem Symphony for their joint efforts.

Photo Credit: JFarley Photography

Nia Imani Franklin appears as a brilliant constellation in the tapestry of operatic brilliance. Her voice is a vessel of heavenly resonance, mirroring the tenacity and triumph of the human spirit through every beautiful note. Franklin exudes dignity, skill, and determination as a cultural and musical superstar. Her powerful and graceful voice tells tales of strength and perseverance as she composes, sings, and advocates. She raises awareness for problems near and dear to her heart while enthralling audiences with her artistic vision in every performance. Beyond her musical talents, Nia Imani Franklin shines a light on the need of kindness and imagination for future generations.

Franklin brought her unique blend of artistry and passion to the forefront, infusing each piece with emotion and vitality. From classical masterpieces to contemporary compositions, her transcendent voice illuminated the music, breathing new life into timeless melodies and forging an unforgettable connection with the audience.

With her magnetic stage presence and unparalleled vocal prowess, Franklin proved once again why she is a star in the world of classical music. Her performance was a symphonic journey, where every crescendo and decrescendo echoed with the essence of her soul.

Photo Credit: JFarley Photography

Michelle Merrill, Music Director of the Winston-Salem Symphony, showcased her brilliance as she skillfully directed the symphony alongside Nia Imani Franklin. With her nuanced understanding of music and her exceptional leadership, Merrill brought out the best from the orchestra, creating an unforgettable musical experience that captivated the audience and celebrated the artistry of Nia Imani Franklin. The synergy between Franklin and the Winston-Salem Symphony was nothing short of magical, as they seamlessly harmonized to create moments of pure sonic bliss. Under the baton of Merrill, they wove a tapestry of sound that enraptured all who were fortunate enough to bear witness.

Through the power of music, Nia Imani Franklin, transported us to a realm where beauty knows no bounds and harmony reigns supreme. Franklin performance included songs such as Being Good Isn't Good Enough, They All Laughed, and a few songs from some of her favorite films, Sister Act II (Joyful, Joyful and Ain't No Mountain High Enough) and The Preacher's Wife (I Love the Lord). Additionally, Manhattan Shower Thoughts, which was written when Franklin lived in New York, helped close out the first half of the show.

As the final notes echoed into the night, there was no doubt that Nia Imani Franklin's performance with the Winston-Salem Symphony would be etched in the memories of all who were in attendance. It was a testament to the enduring power of music to uplift, unite, and transcend.

Nia Imani Franklin depicts tonight’s performance quoting “faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see”. Franklin stated that she felt honored and blessed by the support of the community and the Winston Salem Symphony.

Stay tuned for Nia Imani Franklin's full feature in the July/August 2024 print issue of Vision & Purpose LifeStyle Magazine and Media.


About Nia Imani Franklin

Nia Imani Franklin is a composer, actress, conductor, and singer who has had her music performed by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Friction Quartet, Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, and many others. Nia also became the Composer in Residence at Festival Napa Valley in 2021, where she premiered several works and was awarded the Darioush and Shahpar Khaledi Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Classical Music. After concluding her Lincoln Center fellowship in New York City, she earned the jobs of Miss New York 2018 and Miss America 2019. In September of 2021 Nia released her EP, “Extended,” which featured her RnB songs, and her orchestra piece, “Chrysalis Extended,” which has nearly 4 million views on her TikTok profile. In February of 2022 Duward Ensemble premiered Nia’s “Vingt-Huit” a piece that was commissioned for chamber ensemble and it was performed at East Carolina University.

Nia holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Composition and Theory from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, as well as a master’s degree in Music Composition from The University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem. In 2019, she founded Compose Her - an initiative that seeks to empower women in music. Nia is on the board of Opera On Tap, which is a non-profit organization based in New York City and dedicated to making opera accessible to all. She also was recently appointed to the Board of Trustees of The University of North Carolina School of the Arts in January 2023.

About the Winston-Salem Symphony

The Winston-Salem Symphony Association, Inc. (the “Symphony”) is one of oldest and most respected professional arts organizations in North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad. Started in 1946 on the campus of Salem College as a Civic Orchestra, the Symphony incorporated as a non-profit North Carolina corporation in 1952 and hired its first full-time conductor in 1955.


About Dr. Brittney Clinton

Dr. Brittney Clinton, is a content educational practitioner currently serving as an Associate Professor at Westcliff University, Dissertation Committee Member, independent published author, and compassionate leader that attract other professionals, scholars, and individuals in the community with a devoted purpose to empower, educate, and support others.

Dr. Clinton serves as a media correspondent and contributing writer for Vision & Purpose LifeStyle Magazine and Media.



bottom of page