County man singsnational anthemat D.C. memorial

Contributed photo Rockingham native Edwin Ingram sang the national anthem at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C. on May 5.

WASHINGTON — Edwin Ingram has been singing since he was about 5 years old.

Earlier this month, the Rockingham native had the opportunity so sing the national anthem at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C.

“I’ve been working up here almost three years and I sing in the central office choir,” said Ingram, who is a contract specialist with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He said he’s been with the choir for the past two years.

Ingram said he was nominated to sing by Len Foust, former president of the choir, who retired in October.

“They asked him for somebody to sing and he gave them my name,” he said.

“I was a little nervous, but it was OK,” he added. “I’ve never sung for an event like this.”

A photo of Ingram on stage with newly appointed Attorney General Loretta Lynch appeared in the May 6 edition of The Washington Post.

Lynch, who grew up in Greensboro, was confirmed in late April to replace Eric Holder.

Ingram said he had never met Lynch before the May 5 event, which paid tribute to the bureau’s 26 “fallen heroes” and honored Lt. Osvaldo Albarati, a corrections officer in Puerto Rico who was killed Feb. 26, 2013. Nine individuals were indicted in Albarati’s murder in January of this year, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

There were about 150 people in the audience, including bureau staff and Albarati’s family, who heard Ingram sing.

“I’ve been singing since I was a kid,” Ingram said. “I started singing at church.”

Although he sang at New Diggs Chapel AME Zion Church growing up, Ingram said he wasn’t in chorus at Richmond Senior High School, where he graduated in 1997.

After high school, Ingram went to N.C. Agricultural and Technical State University where he majored in business and marketing.

He got his start with the prison system by working as a corrections officer at the Federal Corrections Institution in Bennettsville, South Carolina.

Ingram later obtained his MBA by taking online classes through Capella University and was promoted to his current job in October of 2012.

His duties as contract specialist include procuring supplies and services for the bureau and negotiating with vendors.

Ingram, son of Melvin L. Ingram Sr. and the Rev. Janice H. Ingram, says he tries to make it back home every few months.

Reach reporter William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 and follow him on Twitter @William_r_Toler.