From cancer to concert choir president

Darien Bolden singing at a Concert Choir performance in Lee Hall. Photo courtesy FAMU News

Cancer may stop others, but it did not stop the singing survivor Darien Bolden from living his life. Bolden, a junior majoring in music education, is now the president of the concert choir and directing them into their performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City on May 6.

Born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, Bolden’s passion for music started at the age of four when he got his first solo singing “Yes Jesus Loves Me” at his father’s church. His music career grew as he released a Gospel EP at the age of 18.

“Growing up I’ve always been involved in some way, shape or form with music,” Bolden said. “My favorite memory as a child was getting band uniforms for Christmas and going outside in my backyard mimicking the drum major routine of one of Jacksonville’s Local High Schools.”

On Dec. 8, 2017, Bolden found that he had stage 2 Large B -Cell Lymphoma Cancer from receiving a call from his parents. He said that God’s grace got him

Darien Bolden, the concert choir president and gospel choir director. Photo courtesy @darien_boldenjr on Instagram

through his chemo process as he had six treatments in total and experienced two seizures along the way.

It was a celebration when his final days in the hospital were cherished by throwing a final chemo party and was out of the hospital for his 19th birthday on May 25th.

Tamieyah Johnson, a junior majoring in the music industry, spoke about her close friend beating cancer.

“Being one of DJ close friends and hearing that DJ beat cancer was truly an amazing feeling, that’s my brother and it was the hardest thing to watch, but my God is a healer and it only made DJ’s testimony stronger,” said Johnson.

Another friend and member of the concert choir, Kimani Jackson, told how Bolden’s story encouraged his spiritual journey.

“Darien’s story is absolutely inspiring and challenged my faith in God. I trust him even more. And he is a living testimony and inspiration to all that meet him,” said Jackson.

He was formally announced as the director of the FAMU Gospel Choir spring of 2019. He now leads the concert choir into their biggest performance at Carnegie Hall as they look for donations to help them thrive to be the best they can be.

Bolden is not only a survivor, a preacher’s son, the concert choir president but what some people believe, a strong symbol that anything is possible if you put passion into what you believe.