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Ayanna Witter-Johnson ’11 Wows Residents at Madison Square Garden

Christmas came early to International House in December 2021 when Ayanna Witter-Johnson ’11 stopped by for a visit while she was in New York to perform as Guest Artist with Andrea Bocelli as part of the Italian tenor’s “Believe” North American tour. The UK-based singer/cellist/composer met with I-House President Sebastian Fries, staff and residents during her visit on December 14, which included nostalgic stops by the Dining Hall, the Home Room, and Davis Hall, where she once performed, as well as the resident floor where she lived while pursuing her Masters degree in Composing at Manhattan School of Music. The next evening, five I-House residents, joined by Anita Haravon ‘11, President of the New York Area Alumni Chapter (NYAAC), attended the concert at Madison Square Garden, where Witter-Johnson performed her signature cover of “Roxanne” and joined Bocelli for “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” During her time at I-House, Witter-Johnson became the first non-American to win First Prize at the famous “Amateur Night at the Apollo” in Harlem. She has remained engaged with the House as an Alum, most recently participating in the House’s first Virtual Salon Sunday in April 2021. The “Believe” tour took place in cities throughout the United States, from October through December 18.