The Fisk Jubilee Singers embraced a large audience at Bethany Baptist Church (host church) Friday, February 15, 2013. This spectacular event was sponsored by LeMoyne College. The proceeds from the concert went to the Matt Shaw Fund, named in honor of a 2012 LeMoyne graduate who was killed in a random act of violence just months after his commencement.
The preservation of the Negro spiritual is very prominent among our culture, as we celebrate the music and the music makers. The concert was very special to the community as the 18 member ensemble sang a capella spirituals. The Fisk Jubilee Singers, founded in 1871, introduced the world to these spirituals, broke racial barriers in the United States, and raised money in support of their beloved school.
They continue to travel and perform concerts singing the Negro Spirituals around the world. They are vocal artists and students at Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee, directed by Dr. Paul Kwami. Opening the concert was the Syracuse Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America, directed by historian, Dr. Joan Hillsman. Dr. Kwami spoke with the group in an informal hospitality session on the art of singing spirituals, gospel and other forms of music.
The summary and focus of his encouraging message was to remember to “sing the meaning from the heart and soul”. Read more about the contributions of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, who in 2008 was the recipient of the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor for artists and patrons of the arts, presented by President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush during a ceremony at the White House.
Congratulations to Barbara Karper and the academic enrichment supporters at LeMoyne College.