American Spiritual Ensemble Returns To Berea


The American Spiritual Ensemble, a critically acclaimed professional singing group that performs classic spirituals throughout the country, will perform and conduct workshops at Berea College on February 21-23. These events are open to the general public.

The ensemble focuses on telling stories through “spirituals” that are historically preserved and passed down from generation to generation.

“Negro Spirituals are songs well-loved all over the world,” says Kathy Bullock, director of Berea College’s Black Music Ensemble and professor of music. “Although emerging from circumstances of terrible oppression, the songs transcend such to affirm our shared humanity and the divine. Spirituals build community, and promote faith, reconnection, restoration, hope, inspiration and healing.”

During their visit, the American Spiritual Ensemble will collaborate with the Berea College Concert Choir, the Black Music Ensemble, the Women’s Chorus and the West Jessamine High School Chorus and conduct critique classes. Sunday’s concert will feature a more traditional performance by the American Spiritual Ensemble.

  • February 21 at 8:30 p.m. in Baird Lounge (Alumni Building): Screening of the Spiritual
  • February 22 from 2-5 p.m. at Presser Hall: Individual and Choral Master Classes open to public participation
  • February 22 at 8 p.m. at Union Church: Berea Student and Community Participant Concert
  • Sunday, February 23 at 3 p.m. at Union Church: The American Spiritual Ensemble Concert
Categories: News, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: American Spiritual Ensemble, Berea College Concert Choir, Black Music Ensemble, Kathy Bullock

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College only admits academically promising students with limited financial resources—primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia—but welcomes students from 41 states and 76 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly to earn money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.