The critically acclaimed American Spiritual Ensemble, which preserves black history and culture through song and which features West Virginia University voice professor Hope Koehler, will present a concert Monday, Feb. 6 at the Creative Arts Center.
The program begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre.
The American Spiritual Ensemble was founded by Everett McCorvey in 1995. The mission of the ensemble is to keep the American Negro spiritual alive.
The members of the American Spiritual Ensemble are soloists in their own right and the vocalists have thrilled audiences around the world with their dynamic renditions of classic spirituals, jazz and Broadway numbers highlighting the Black experience.
The ensemble will play a major role in the soon-to-be released PBS documentary recounting the history of the art form. This program follows the ensemble as they enchant audiences during their tour of the Deep South and further expand their mission of performing the Negro Spiritual during their 10th tour of Spain.
Members of the American Spiritual Ensemble include sopranos Angelique Clay, Jeryl Cunningham-Fleming, Sequina DuBose, Mari-Yan Pringle, Karen Slack and Brandie Sutton; tenors Roderick George, Robert King, Sam McKelton, Chauncey Packer and John Wesley Wright; altos Cherry Duke, Msiba Anne Grundy, Hope Koehler, Sara Nordin, Angela Owens and Matthew Truss; basses Patrick Blackwell, Damien Geter, Frederick Jackson, Ricky Little, Tay Seals and Nathaniel Thompson; and pianist Tedrin Blair Lindsay.
WVU voice professor Hope Koehler is a member of the ensemble. She has appeared with many opera companies and orchestras, such as Nashville Opera, Tennessee Opera Theatre, Blair Opera Theatre, University Opera Theatre in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Lyric Opera of the North, Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra, Lexington Symphony Orchestra, and Itasca Symphony Orchestra. She completed her doctorate at the University of Kentucky in Lexington where she studied with voice professor Everett McCorvey.
The first half of the program features songs such as: “Walk Together Children,” “Jacob’s Ladder,” “Hallelujah,” “Oh, What a Beautiful City!” “His Name So Sweet,” “Go Down, Moses,” “I Don’t Feel No Ways Tired,” “There’s A Man Going Round,” “I Wanna Be Ready,” “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” “Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel,” “Ezekiel Saw de Wheel” and “You Must Have That True Religion.”
Following intermission, the program will include: “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” “Ride On, King Jesus,” three songs from “Lyric Suite,” including “Humoresque,” “Dramatic Declamation” and “Juba,” “Sit Down Servant, Sit Down,” “Make Them Hear You” (from “Ragtime”), “Bring Him Home” (from “Les Mis�rables), “Over the Rainbow (from “The Wizard of Oz”), “Old Time Religion,” “When The Saints” and “Circle of Life (from “The Lion King”), and more.
Tickets are $20 for the general public, $18 for WVU employees and senior citizens, and $15 for students and children. The group rate (10 or more) is also $15.
Tickets are available at the WVU School of Music office at the CAC, Room 416A, or by calling 304-293-4532. They are also available in the College of Creative Arts Business Office at the CAC, Room 302A.
See the American Spiritual Ensemble website and check out their videos at: www.americanspiritualensemble.com.
CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts
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