For 26 years, Creative Impressions (CI) has actively sought to empower youth through high quality choral, civic and cultural experiences. The programming implemented by CI supports our mission by providing instruction in music and other areas of performance; providing cultural expansion and exposure; and by creating works of art for the community. Since its inception in 1996, CI has served over 600 youth and has developed into a choral music ensemble of excellence. Many vocal art forms to include dance, choral choreography, choral drama, and original compositions, are employed to give excitement, color, and an uplifting message to listeners while providing extensive training in the performing arts to future innovators in their respective creative journeys.
Creative Impressions currently supports approximately thirty-five (35) community youth of diverse backgrounds that range in age from 8 to 18 years old. Through weekly training sessions that focus on excellence, hard work, and committed leadership, the organization instills pride and esthetic appreciation while promoting positive work habits and responsible behavior. Students engage in weekly ear training in addition to rote and/or scored music education sessions while provided group and individual mentorship. Music history and theory are also infused into the curriculum. Students also learn to read music, and develop technique and the self-confidence needed to perform for live audiences.
Creative Impressions has inspired audiences along the east coast as far north as Ground Zero in New York City and has performed at a Presidential Youth Summit in Washington, D.C. The organization is active in the local arts community, performing for diverse audiences. Creative Impressions was afforded the opportunity to open for Mr. Jay Leno and perform for the Pay-It-Forward Academy closing ceremony hosted by Coca Cola in Atlanta, GA. Other collaborations include the Augusta Westobou’s presentation of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band during its annual Festival.
FOUNDER- EVELYN D. ELLIS
Evelyn D. Ellis is the daughter of the late Rev. John M. Ellis and Thelma G. Ellis. She is a graduate of Boggs Academy in Keysville, Georgia. Ms. Ellis received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, and did graduate study at both San Jose State University, San Jose California and at Augusta College (now Augusta University). She received her Graduate Music Teaching Certificate from Kodaly Musical Training Institute in Watertown, Massachusetts.
During her years as a teacher, Ms. Ellis has taught across the country in places such as the Fulton County School System in Atlanta; the Cupertino, California School System; Framingham Massachusetts School System; Greensboro North Carolina School System; Charleston South Carolina, School System; and the Burke County School System in Waynesboro, Georgia. Ms. Ellis has retired from teaching in the Richmond County School System, where she worked for sixteen years. Over the years, Ms. Ellis has also served as musician for several area churches, and she has been the recipient of many awards and recognitions which include the Women of Excellence Award in the Arts by the CSRA Girl Scout League in May 2003; the President’s Award given by the Greater Augusta Arts Council in 2005, and the Giving Your Best Award from Channel 6 Television in Augusta, Georgia also in 2005. In the fall of 2006, Ms. Ellis was finally able to realize a long-time dream when she entered Erskine Theological Seminary to pursue a Master of Theology/Divinity degree. In 2009 she achieved the fulfillment of that dream when she successfully completed her Master of Divinity Degree. In the fall of 2010 she successfully completed all ordination exams, and in 2011 she was ordained and installed as Pastor in the Westminster Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) in Waynesboro, GA.
Not only is Ms. Ellis the proud mother of two sons, Paul and Christopher Johnson, the proud grandmother of little Korey Johnson she is also the adopted mother of many members of Barefoot Productions, Inc. /Creative Impressions (past and present). Her unfailing dedication and hard work has set the standard for the quality of the organization’s performances, and is also the reason for the success that the group is experiencing today.
ARTIST DIRECTOR- TREY MCLAUGHIN
Trey M. McLaughlin was born in Augusta, GA on March 30, 1984. He graduated from John S. Davidson Magnet School in 2002. While in high school, Trey was a member of the non-profit, performing arts organization, Creative Impressions, serving as both President and Student Director of the organization from 1999-2002.
He attended Columbus State University (The Schwob School of Music) in Columbus, GA. During his time at Columbus State, Trey was a member of its University Singers and Chorale, and placed second and third in Georgia’s College NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) Competition for two consecutive years. Trey is a member and past president of the professional music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and he is a former director of G.E.N.E.S.I.S. the Columbus State University Gospel Choir. Trey graduated from Columbus State University in May of 2008, with a Bachelor of Music Performance Degree with emphasis in Vocal Pedagogy.
In 2014, Mr. McLaughlin had the honor of conducting a Master Class and performing at the L’Opéra de Massy in Massy, France. He has also served as the guest clinician for several Honor Choruses throughout the state of Georgia. In October of 2015, Trey conducted a 300-voice choir in Krakow, Poland as the guest clinician of the annual 7x Festival. Trey was also afforded the opportunity to conduct a workshop and perform in Menorca, Spain and Rajadell, Spain. Most recently, Mr. McLaughlin served as the principal clinician at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Currently, he serves as the Director of Barefoot Productions, Inc. /Creative Impressions. Trey is also the founder and director of his own gospel ensemble (Trey McLaughlin and the Sounds of Zamar), serves as the Director of Worship and Arts at The Historic Tabernacle Baptist Church. He continues his passion for writing and arranging music, teaching piano, and conducting classes in vocal technique.
A gifted and talented musician, composer, singer and teacher, Trey McLaughlin is destined to move the hearts of many with his God-centered, God-focused musical creations.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Evelyn Ellis | Founder
Trey McLaughlin | Artistic Director
Shanita Newton | President
Trai Williams | Vice President
Gayle McLaughlin | Secretary
Ronica Cummings | Treasurer
Dr. Ala'Torya Cranford
HOW TO JOIN CREATIVE IMPRESSIONS?
Who is eligible to participate?
Any youth in the greater Augusta area between the ages of 11 and 18 are able to audition.
When does Creative Impressions Rehearse?
Creative Impressions rehearses Tuesday evenings at 6:00p.
Does Creative Impressions accept performance engagements?
Yes! Creative Impressions loves to showcase the hard work of its students! If you're interested in having CI perform, please fill out the form below.