photo of Marsha above by Calvin Funklea
After “serving and singing” for almost 40 years, Niagara Falls’ own Marsha McWilson finally received her “icing on the cake” when she was became the first Black female artist inducted into the coveted Niagara Falls Music Hall of Fame last Thursday at the Rapids Theatre.
Peter Paonessa, president of the Niagara Fall Music Hall of Fame said during an earlier television interview, that the organization has been honoring musicians since 2017 and putting Marsha out there “legitimizes our mission.”
“I’m celebrating two things today,” Marsha told an appreciative audience; the coveted induction into the Hall of Fame, and her 28th wedding anniversary!
“I couldn’t have done it without my husband, Howard” she said before dedicating to him a soulful rendition of “At Last” by Etta James.
Despite many tragedies, the amazing song stylist has persevered through it all, clinging to her faith in God. As a musical minister, Marsha is the kind of artist who walks into a room radiating light, love and laughter. You don’t just hear her sing– you experience her. She’ll tell you, “I work for the Waymaker.”
In addition to owning and running her own business, Marsha, an accomplished vocalist, has made a name for herself performing locally, as well as nationally and internationally, singing a combination of gospel, jazz and blues.
She has appeared on the Bobby Jones Gospel TV show and sang in concert with greats like David & Tamela Mann, Yolanda Adams, Kim Burrell, Donnie McClurkin, Michael Buble and many others. Marsha has met several fellow entertainers like Tyler Perry, Bobby Brown, comedian Luenell, and has lead a Gospel choir down the runway at Fashion Week in Toronto. You might have even heard her as a radio host on Power 96.5 FM/WUFO-Buffalo. Having trained under Les Brown, Marsha is also a motivational speaker, talking to young people about making good choices in life.
Her giving spirit garnered her a Humanitarian Award from the City of Niagara Falls in 2002.
Marsha has also performed on the Tom Joyner Cruise which lead to an appearance in one of Tyler Perry’s TV shows. She has been paying tribute to Etta James with standing-room-only concerts in places like Lewiston, NY, along with recording her Blue Sky Blues CD, a follow-up to her hit song on iTune entitled “Balance.”
She also played the role of “Athena” in “The Odyssey” at Artpark during the summer of 2018 and sang during the Lewiston Jazz Fest.
She is an evangelist at Zion Dominion Global Ministries, serving under Bishop Roderick L. Hennings. She is listed in Who’s Who in America and honored by God’s
Woman Vanessa Scott Outreach Ministries as a prominent woman in her community.
During the Coronavirus Pandemic, Marsha, who lost six family members, including her sister Vanessa to Covid-19, wrote and recorded the song “Rona Mae Blues,” which received a lot of media attention .
Marsha calls Niagara Falls, New York, home.
Congratulations Marsha for an honor well deserved and long overdue!