Festival of Spirituals Hosted At Berea College

The Berea College Music Department will present a day-long Festival of Spirituals and works by African American composers on Saturday, February 27, 2016. The activities will include presentations and demonstration during the morning, choral workshops in the afternoon and culminate with an evening concert.

Beginning at 9:30, the first session will feature “Dialogue/Research on Gospel and Spirituals in the College Setting” by EJ Stokes and Raynetta Wiggins, both of whom are Berea alumni and currently are doctoral candidates. “Music of the Underground Railroad” is the focus of the next morning session. It will be presented by Dr. Alicestyne Turley and the Black Music Ensemble from 10:45 – Noon.

The afternoon session will be a “Choral Workshop” led by Dr. Donna Cox from the University of Dayton, who is guest conductor along with EJ Stokes and Jessica Greene, another Berea College alumna. The morning and afternoon sessions will be held in Presser Hall on the Berea College campus.

The Evening Concert, which will be held at Union Church adjacent to campus, will feature performances of spirituals and other works by African American composers. Concert performers from Berea College include:

  • Black Music Ensemble
  • Concert Choir
  • Women’s Chorus
  • Folk Roots Ensemble
  • Jazz Combo
  • Saxophone Ensemble

Other featured performers include: 

  • Union Church Choir
  • First Baptist Richmond (Francis & Collins) Choir
  • West Jessamine High School Choir
  • Al and Alice White, Liza and AJ, Jonathan Parham (Kentucky Opera)

For more information, contact the Berea College Music Department at 859-985-3466

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Categories: News, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: Black Music Ensemble, Concert Choir, Festival of Spirituals, Folk-Roots Ensemble, Jazz Combo, Music Department, Saxophone Ensemble, Women’s Chorus

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.