Director (2019 to present)
Dwayne Buggs is a resident of St. Louis, Missouri, and is a Cullen, Louisiana native. Mr. Buggs holds a Master of Music degree from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. He spent the past 37 years in education, primarily as Vocal Music Director, Choral Director and Curriculum Coordinator for K-12 Fine and Practical Arts in the Normandy and Ferguson-Florissant School Districts, and Artistic Director and Dean of Arts at the Central Visual and Performing Arts High School during the last five years of his educational career.
Mr. Buggs is a Music Education graduate of Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana. He has completed further graduate studies at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL as a Music Fellowship recipient, the University of Missouri, St. Louis University and Webster University in St. Louis.
Maestro Buggs has performed as Choral Director, Choral Clinician and Adjudicator and Church Organist while serving the Saint James African Methodist Episcopal Church, St. Louis Public and St. Louis County school systems, and is currently the Minister of Music at Cote Brilliante Presbyterian Church. He is also the piano accompanist for the Westbrook-Green Concert Choir of East Saint Louis, Illinois. During his years as an educator, he received many awards from church, social and professional organizations.
On July 1, 2019, Maestro Buggs became the Director of The Legend Singers Choral Ensemble, following the retirement of his illustrious mentor and friend, Dr. Doris Jones Wilson, a St. Louis Legendary Musician, Composer, and Award-Winning Choral Director. He is very humbled and grateful to work with the highly esteemed Legend Singers Choral Ensemble.
Past and Present
Rev. Malacchi Owens Jr,
Malachi Owens, Jr. began singing with The Legend Singers as a choral student of the late Kenneth Brown Billups, while attending Sumner High School in 1966. After graduating in 1968, he became a regular member in the bass section of the ensemble. In 1977, Dr. Billups appointed Owens as the assistant director of The Legend Singers. After the sudden death of Dr. Billups in 1985, Owens took the reins of the group.
Under Malachi’s tenure, the group continued to perform regularly. In 1996, after ten and half years of serving as Director and to allow the group to continue to grow and prosper, Owens passed the baton to Dr. Doris Jones Wilson.
Dr. Kenneth Brown Billups,
Dr. Kenneth Brown Billups, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, born on April 15, 1918, and died October 10, 1985, was an outstanding educator and gifted artist. He was educated in the St. Louis Public Schools and graduated from Charles Harrison Sumner High School. His college training began at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, MO where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology.
Billups’s greatest fame came as a choir director. His protégés include Cheryl Bibbs, Grace Bumbry, Felicia Weathers, and Robert McFerrin. In 1940, Billups, then in his early twenties, founded a choral group known as the Legend Singers. The group consisted of eighteen singers who were enrolled in the National Youth Act Music Project, a program of the Works Progress Administration, directed by Billups.
Dr. Doris Jones Wilson,
Dr. Doris Jones Wilson is a product of the St. Louis Public Schools and the Alleda Ward Wells Music Studio. She earned the Bachelor of Music Education degree from Lincoln University, the Master of Arts in Teaching and the Doctor of Education degrees from Washington University, St. Louis, MO.
Dr. Wilson became the Director of The Legend Singers Choral Ensemble, in 1996, following Malachi Owens. Wilson has brought to The Legend Singers diverse programming, that includes the annual Festival of African American Spirituals and celebration of Black Music month with a tribute to contemporary Blues, Soul, R&B, and Hip-Hop music. Dr. Wilson is also a renowned arranger and composer, in her own rights.
Even Me (I need to replace with a recording performed by The Legend Singers https://youtu.be/9ZUonsiuNdM