Please join Blue Sky Collective in welcoming in The Sojourners.....an ensemble of The Spirituals Project...this Saturday March 14 at 10:30am.
The Sojourners: An Ensemble of The Spirituals Project is a small, fluid ensemble dedicated to "bringing the music home." The group was recently created to fulfill TSP’s commitment to keeping the spirituals vibrant and accessible by performing as soloists or in small groups of less than 12 and without a conductor.
"The spirituals are our music. Our race survived the brutal persecution of slavery with strength derived from these songs. The songs enabled us to sing when we were afraid, mourn when we were hurting and, most of all, to persevere. The message of this music has been universally embraced as a symbol of hope. The spirituals were created by people who refused to give up and this is the message we must never forget."
The choir celebrates, in effect, two traditions. One of them is the slave songs themselves. The other is the concertized versions of these songs as first brought to the American and world public by the Fisk Jubilee Singers, in the last quarter of the 19th Century, and successively by such great concert artists as Marian Anderson, Roland Hayes, Paul Robeson and Jessye Norman. The choral tradition of this music brings to mind the names of Hall Johnson, and the Hall Johnson Singers, William L. Dawson and the choirs of Tuskegee Institute and conductors and arrangers such as John W. Work, Nathaniel Dett, H.T. Burleigh and Jester Hairston.
It is in the tradition of these, to name only a few, musicians and artists that The Spirituals Project Choir carries on the commitment to sharing these very special and uniquely American songs with its growing circle of friends and fans. The spirit of this music cannot be contained, as is witnessed by the many people who hear the choir sing.
The choir sings primarily written arrangements of the spirituals. Many of these arrangements have become part of the standard choral concert repertoire. They include the work of William L. Dawson, Jester Hairston, Moses Hogan, John Work, Hall Johnson, Undine Smith Moore and Alice Parker. Additionally, the choir is singing new arrangements written specifically for the choir which attempt to bring back a more basic form, nearer to the style in which the songs were sung a century or more ago. This "minimalist" style is part of an objective to make these songs more accessible to a greater number of people and re-discover the earlier forms that so effectively moved people worldwide toward this music and the spirit from which it was born.
Added by jenbluesky on March 11, 2009