Jessye Norman Boulevard unveiled

CSRA News

We remember a legend. The late five-time Grammy award winner, Jessye Norman, had 8th St. named after her.

The street in front of the Jessye Norman School of the Arts was blocked off. Family, close friends, and even community members gathered around and celebrated her street naming at a reception in the art gallery.

Norman’s little sister, Elaine Norman Sturkey, says, “she believed that when you sing the language you should be able to breathe the language not just memorize the language.”

Norman-Sturkey came back to her hometown to watch the unveiling of her Jessye Norman Boulevard.

“This started off as an event that was going to happen when she was alive. And so we were excited, because Augusta was going to do it, and she was going to be able to come,” says Norman-Sturkey, in tears.

The street was filled with students from the Jessye Norman School of the Arts and those inspired by her talent.

Ollie Washington, an Augusta local, says “I think she brought honor to the city and the state and I think it’s appropriate that we honor her.”

The street passes right by her school, and the Executive Director of Jessye Norman School of the Arts, Gary Dennis, says the name is hopefully here to stay.

“This is not the end of it, it should be permanent. Commissioner Fenoy will introduce that or he said that he would introduce that in the next commission meeting,” says Dennis.

With a big voice that touch many here in the Garden City, Elaine says it’s more than just her older sister’s gift to remember her by.

“I think we want to remember her heart. Of course we want to remember her great talent, but we want to remember her heart,” says Norman Sturkey.

The public funeral is Saturday afternoon at 1:00. Sunday, there is a benefit concert to support the Jessye Norman School of the Arts at 4:00 PM in the Miller Theatre.

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