Founder & Artistic Director
Movie and television orchestral string soundtracks of the 1970s and 1980s stirred a young Lee Pringle to dream of a life far removed from his rural South Carolina Lowcountry home. Like many African-American children in the South, he was immersed in music from an early age, from the Sunbeam Choir at his childhood church, Mt. Pisgah AME, to band and choral lessons in high school. Those experiences allowed Mr. Pringle to develop into an accomplished tenor who has sung and soloed with community choirs throughout South and North Carolina. In addition to performing, Mr. Pringle undertook many production activities, eventually leading to his own marketing and production firm Buster-Elsie Productions. The company has co-produced and assisted in forming the Charleston International Festival of Choirs and the African Choral Festival in Ghana, West Africa, produced more than 150 orchestral and choral concerts and solo recitals regionally and internationally, and continues to foster emerging young vocalists from across the country through ongoing series of recitals.
Mr. Pringle is the founder and president of the Charleston Gospel Choir, a 75-member choir now in its 20th season, which continues to garner wide acclaim. For more than a decade, Mr. Pringle worked in a consulting role with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra as executive producer of four major productions including its popular Gospel Christmas and Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial concerts.
For the past ten years, his focus is to enhance and expand appreciation of the African-American Spiritual and black classically trained musicians’ contributions to the genre. The African-American Spiritual, largely nurtured in South Carolina, is interwoven in his annual productions. Mr. Pringle also is founder and president of the Charleston Spiritual Ensemble and Charleston Spiritual Ensemble Chorale, recognized for their excellence in vocal performance with keen followings in the Carolinas. In 2012, Mr. Pringle led the two groups on a choral tour to Ghana, the African embarkation point for many who became enslaved in the New World. The Colour of Music Festival is a seventh-year dream in the making and furthers the goal of nurturing and showcasing the talents of black classical musicians and composers.