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Manchester Woman Sang With Dionne Warwick, Now Ms. New Jersey Senior America

MANCHESTER, NJ — A Manchester Township woman has been honored after she was crowned Ms. New Jersey Senior America for 2017.

Carolyn Slade Harden, who sang with Dionne Warwick, Dee Dee Warwick and Cissy Houston in the gospel group the Gospelaires years ago, was named Ms. New Jersey Senior America in May and will compete for the title of Ms. Senior America in October, according to the pageant’s website.

Harden was recently recognized by Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari on behalf of the Ocean County Board of Freeholders on her victory. As part of being crowned Ms. New Jersey Senior America, she will travel throughout the state promoting the positive aspects on aging. She will also be the featured performer in all New Jersey Cameo Club Showcases, entertaining audiences in 55 plus communities, clubs, veterans’ hospitals and assisted living and nursing homes.

The Ms. Senior America Pageant emphasizes and gives honor to women who have reached the “Age of Elegance.” “It is a search for the gracious lady who best exemplifies the dignity, maturity and inner beauty of all senior Americans,” the pageant website says. “The Ms. Senior America philosophy is based upon the belief that seniors are the foundation of America, and our most valuable treasure. It is upon their knowledge, experience and resources that the younger generation has the opportunity to build a better society.”

Carolyn Slade Harden, who lives in the Renaissance, was born in Newark and graduated from Arts High School, the first public high school in the United States specializing in the visual and performing arts. There, she studied opera and performed leading roles in Madame Butterfly, Carmen, Aida, Faust, and appeared on PBS-Channel 13, according to her biography on the pageant website.

In addition to singing with the Gospelaires and the Drinkard Ensemble, Harden was part of a New York City area session singing team for writers such as Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and supplied background vocals for artists such as the Drifters, Solomon Burke, and Garnet Mimms.

Slade Harden made three records that topped the charts in various cities in the U.S. She debuted with “I Saw You With My Best Friend” and “Eavesdropping” released on the Domino label in 1962. Her next single, “I Wanna Know Right Now,” also topped the charts in 1963. She appeared on the television show “American Bandstand,” at the Apollo Theater in New York, and various venues throughout the country.

Carolyn Slade Harden also has been a choral director; she directed the Children’s Choir at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark — where she conducted Whitney Houston in her first solo performance — and directed the Children’s and Youth Choirs at Bethany Baptist Church in Newark, the Seton Hall University Gospel Choir in South Orange and also directs the Renaissance Adult Community Chorus.

Carolyn Slade Harden (a.k.a. Carol Slade) was born in Newark, NJ where she graduated from Arts High School, the first public high school in the United States specializing in the visual and performing arts. There, she studied opera and performed leading roles in Madame Butterfly, Carmen, Aida, Faust, and appeared on PBS-Channel 13.

Carolyn received a bachelor’s degree from Kean University in management science, with a major in finance, and a collateral program in training and development. Her extensive business resume includes more than 40 years of experience in corporate and higher education management. She also specializes in integrating systems with business practices and held management positions with Coopers Lybrand and Seton Hall University.

She is the founder and president of OfficeXperts, LLC., and created the Harden Institute for Financial Independence, which concentrates on educating youth in financial management. She is currently certified as a Quickbooks ProAdvisor. Carolyn also earned credits toward a bachelor of arts degree in applied music, major in voice, minor in piano, at Seton Hall University.

She is currently active as a singer and actress in the Renaissance Performing Arts Club (PAC) and several community bands.

She has received awards from the City of Newark for her humanitarian initiatives, contributions toward the enrichment of inspirational music and Christian values, her musical talent, and unfailing service and ministry to community and church. Carolyn was married to the late Arthur Harden Jr. for 51 years and they had two children, a daughter and a son, and she has two grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

Photo provided by Ocean County Board of Freeholders

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Article source: https://patch.com/new-jersey/manchester-nj/manchester-woman-sang-dionne-warwick-now-ms-new-jersey-senior-america

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