Logo_WhiteThe Urban Nation H.I.P.-H.O.P. Choir of Washington, DC is the brainchild of Dr. Sheila Johnson Newman and renowned DC musician Dr. Rickey Payton, Sr., who is the choir’s president and chief executive officer.

Focusing on the acronym H.I.P. - H.O.P. (Hope, Integrity, Power - Helping Our People), the choir’s mission is to channel the creative and artistic energies of a targeted group of youth into a dynamic, structured group that will foster excellence in all facets of their lives.

Students who range in ages 13 to 18 participate in the Urban Nation H.I.P.-H.O.P. Choir. They gain a better understanding and awareness of their heritage by performing a variety of musical styles, particularly spirituals, gospel, jazz, contemporary, inspirational, folk, musical theater and classical music. In addition to performing, Urban Nation emphasizes education, academic excellence, community service, intercultural appreciation, discipline and HIV/AIDs awareness Each participant is required to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5 and attend all educational and motivational workshops as well as seminars that will develop their talents, skills, self-esteem, confidence and personal character.

Some highlights of the Urban Nation H.I.P.-H.O.P. Choir include performances at the White House and Pageant for Peace (lighting of the National Christmas Tree). With rave reviews, the choir has also shared the stage with such celebrities as Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, P. Diddy, Oprah Winfrey, Celine Dion, Wayne Newton, Shania Twain, Hilary Duff, Tatyana Ali, Jasmine Guy, Paul Simon, Raffi, Denyce Graves, Renee Fleming, Rosie O’Donnell, Maya Angelou, Yolanda Adams, Hezekiah Walker, John P. Kee, Vicki Winans, Karen Clark Sheard, and Bobby Jones. The choir has performed for John D. Podesta and the Center for American Progress, Christmas in Middleburg, The Center for Non-Violence and General Dynamics. The choir has also been featured in an array of media outlets including B.E.T., NBC TV, The Washington Post, The Washington Times and B.E.T. Weekend.

For more information, please visit our website: www.urbannation.org












Dr. Rickey Payton, Sr.,
Is a voting member of the GRAMMY’s, a 2004 Linowes Leadership Awards Recipient, as well as a prolific composer, arranger, music producer, performer and teacher. His music scores include the Emmy Award-winning documentary “The New Cotton Club Revue” Hosted by Jim Vance, NBC-TV’s “The Sunshine Store”, "Bring In The Morning", "Hallelujah Boulevard", "The Great Messiah", "Roll On" Featuring Melba Moore with Michael & Regina Winans, as well as the Annual Christmas Productions for the DC Department of Recreation and TV Channel 32.


"Be the Heart of the Arts Campaign"


Sign Up NOW for Our Musical Theatre/HIP-HOP Summer Camp (Ages 3-18) June 17 – August 9, 2013. Call for more information or Sign up on line NOW! SPACE IS LIMITED! Lots of Fun & Meet New Friends!

Music Classes

Students will learn the basics theory concepts including musical symbols, melodic intervals, reading and writing notes on both treble and bass clefs, rhythm, the musical alphabet, scales and chords.

Students learn fundamental vocal techniques including acquiring the proper diction, breathing and articulation skills required to sing in any style.

Classical Piano
The elementary piano classes give students the basic building blocks in reading music, developing solid technique and learning effective practice tools. Working together in a class setting gives the students an opportunity to have a social experience while learning the fundamentals of musical styling and interpretation.

Jazz Piano
Students will learn all the jazz basics including scales and progressions, chord studies, and improvisation techniques.

Gospel Piano
Students will identify and master traditional and contemporary gospel techniques on the piano.

Guitar students study repertoire and develop technique in a group setting.  The course is designed help students learn the basics in chord symbols, progressions, sight reading, hand position, scales, and improvisation.

Bass students will learn the fundamentals of music reading, scales, rhythm, intonation, sight reading, chords and left hand techniques.

Musical Theatre
This course is an introduction to musical theatre focusing on vocal training and performance techniques using favorites from the show music repertoire.

Private Lessons

All Instruments – All Abilities – All Ages. Register online, times will be assigned on a per student basis through the office.