Artist bio

Theresa Hamm~Smith's family has lived in Conyers for four generations. She is a Heritage High School graduate, and received a degree in vocal performance from Shorter College in Rome, GA. She continued her vocal study in Texas with the Houston Grand Opera Young Artist Program. Theresa began her career with an impressive string of vocal competition wins, starting as a Metropolitan Opera National Council Finalist, going on to win The Grande Prix Lyrique in Monte Carlo, where it was her distinct honor to represent the United States, and to dine with HRH Prince Renier of Monaco. She also won the New Jersey State Opera Auditions, the Mobile Opera Competition, and a study grant from Opera Index, Inc. Houston Grand Opera’s touring production of Porgy and Bess was her first professional job. This opera remains one of her favorites for its beautiful music, it has taken her all around the world singing the roles of Serena and Bess, and it was in a production of this opera that she met her beloved husband. She made her Carnegie Hall debut as the soprano soloist in Verdi’s Requiem, and later sang this work with the Knoxville Symphony. Her love of concert and oratorio repertoire has been satiated with performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, the Requiem’s of Brahms, Mozart, Faure, Poulenc’s Gloria, Handel’s Messiah, many of the works of Vivaldi among others. Theresa is very much at home on the opera stage. Her Metropolitan Opera credits include Porgy and Bess, Die Frau Ohne Schatten and Parsifal. She appeared in the New Jersey State Opera’s production of Nabucco. She debuted as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Chatauqua Opera, and made her San Francisco Opera debut in the world premier of Dead Man Walking, receiving excellent reviews for her portrayal of Sister Rose, which she recorded on the Erato Label. She has also sung with the Atlanta Symphony as the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro as well as other works,. and has had the pleasure of singing under the baton of Maestro Robert Spano. Theresa has been blessed to enjoy a varied career, she’s worked Off Broadway, on some of the world’s most prestigious concert and opera stages, she even sang backup for New Kid’s on the Block once! After living in New York City for ten years, Theresa now resides in Conyers. She is the owner and voice instructor of Bella Musica Music Studio, LLC in historic Olde Town Conyers. Her interests include cooking, reading, and writing children's stories. She self published her first children’s Abook, HERO Finds His Voice! in 2018. An extraordinary performer in his own right, Ronn Smith is also Theresa’s husband, wise counsel and film crew.


A Brand New Song!



Artist Statement

A slave woman offers a glimpse into her world. A modern day woman, fortified and shaped by her story, vows to be a light in the new world.

How it fits into contest

In order to endure the misery that was slavery, a woman is unknowingly fortified, strengthened and saved by God’s armor and protection. Because of her grounding in that amor, generations of her descendants are also led to trust God to help them fight battles and endure challenges in order to overcome and walk in joy.


Written and Directed and Performed Theresa Hamm-Smith
Spirituals arranged by Theresa Hamm-Smith
Performed by Theresa Hamm-Smith
Filmed by Ronn-Smith

Other Goods & Services Available from this Artist

HERO Finds His Voice! Available on

Transcript / Lyrics

Lyrics and Text for
A Brand New Song
Submitted by Theresa Hamm-Smith

(Music) Lord how come me here? Lord how come me here? Lord how come me here?

Monologue I
I wish I’d never been born. I don’t even know how I got here. It seem like one minute I was grinding corn and laughing with the women in my village. Outta nowhere these wild-eyed men with skin so pale it look like they ain’t never seen the sun, came from beyond the horizon. They started forcin’ us onto the big boat. Lawd, that boat. It was the awfullest thing I ever seen. People moanin’ and sick. So afraid of what they didn’t know many of em’ jumped right over the side of the boat to hide in the dark waters of the ocean. After days and days on that horrible boat I ended up here. I don’t like it here. I ain’t safe here. There ain’t no freedom here. Just workin’ from sunup to sundown, shoutin’, beatins’, never enough of nuthin’. I did steal a little slice of joy though. I found a lovely man. A man who saw me, not just my body and the pleasure it could give him. He saw me, the whole of me. He wanted to know my thoughts, my dreams, my ideas, cause you know, we have em’. We decided to jump the broom and be together as man and wife forever. What a day that was. Not long after we had a baby; a beautiful chocolate brown baby boy. I used to call him my chocolate drop. We was real happy. As happy as you could be and still be a slave. Then one day they was both gone; sold just like that. First my man, then my chocolate drop

Monologue II
I can’t even imagine her pain. But through her pain, her despair, she was strong in the Lord. She stood her ground in the face of the evil that surrounded her and kept her eyes fixed on heaven. The heaven where she was free to choose the life she wanted. The heaven where her other children were free. And their children after them. Each generation fit with the full armor of God that she passed on to them so that they too could stand in the face of jim crow, their civil rights being denied, being brutalized in the street. They stood, and they worked and they prayed and they had faith. They had faith that I, their precious, chocolate drop, descendant, would have better; that I would be strong and have a voice. So now I stand fueled by their grit and determination. Standing firm while Boldly and Fearlessly celebrating them. Honoring them with my every word and deed. Still clothed in the full armor of God that runs in my blood, my feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Shining a light into a dark world and singing a brand new song.

(Music) This Little Light of Mine! I’m gonna let it shine!

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