Spirituals (Songs) -- History and criticism
Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
Found in 11 Collections and/or Records:
Overview Alma Blackmon relates her early introduction to music at the age of five when she taught herself to play the piano. She discusses how music played an important role in her life in spite of the fact that her formal education was in early childhood education. Blackmon describes her most important contribution, that of director of the Oakwood College Aeolians, a concert choir representing the United States as a friendship ambassador to Romania, with a program comprised of Negro spirituals. She...
Dates: 2000 January 8; Issued: 2003
Overview Bennie Williams recounts her early experiences of growing up, and attending grade school, high school and college in Marshall, Tex. She discusses how spirituals were an integral part of the church she attended, but that it was not until she was in college that she considered the differences between hymns, spirituals and gospel. She relates her experiences in teaching spirituals, from directing high school choirs performing at the Black Teachers Association meetings in Tex., to teaching in...
Dates: 1999 July 10; Issued: 2003
Overview Brazeal Dennard recounts the meaning of spirituals in his life from growing up in Michigan, attending music school at Wayne State University, performing as a singer, and forming the Brazeal Dennard Chorale in Detroit, Mich. in 1972. He describes the components of this organization that include not only a professional chorale, but also youth and community chorales. He discusses the relationship of gospel music to spirituals and the issue of the folk spiritual vs. the concertized spiritual. He...
Dates: 1999 August 5; Issued: 2003
Overview François Clemmons recounts how music, especially spirituals, has played a prominent role throughout his life, from singing in church and school assemblies, to the founding of the Harlem Spiritual Ensemble. He describes that while he was trained in classical and operatic music, the Ensemble, founded in 1984, filled a personal need in his life not addressed by his successful concert career. He discusses his views on the difference between spirituals and gospel music, the concertizing of...
Dates: 1999 May 29; Issued: 2003
Overview Hale Smith recounts his early experiences with music beginning with piano lessons at the age of 7, and recognizing his desire to create his own music. He discusses his approach to composing, and his belief that there is no single formula for composing. He describes spirituals as folk songs initially composed by individuals, but transformed over time to be the true voice of a people performing them. He contrasts the musical genre of gospels that he believes are most effectively performed and...
Dates: 1999 June; Issued: 2003
Overview Jacqueline Hairston recounts her early experiences with music, beginning with piano lessons at 8, and her appointment as the church music director at 12. She discusses her entree into and early days of arranging spirituals for renowned vocalists such as Leontyne Price and Kathleen Battle, and how she established her reputation as a solo spiritual arranger. She talks about how the concertizing of spirituals has expanded their audience and acceptability, and how this acceptability contributes to...
Dates: 1999 May 24; Issued: 2003
Overview Linda Tillery recounts remembrances of growing up in a family environment imbued with African American music. In spite of this early exposure, however, it was not until she was 41 years old, after her parents died in 1990, that her interest in understanding African American folk music and spirituals deepened. At this time she embarked on an oral history project to study spirituals by researching written and recorded sources found in key U.S. archives and by interviewing primarily older African...
Dates: 1999 May 25; Issued: 2003
Overview The granddaughter of a Pentecostal pastor, Rev. Flunder recounts the experiences of her early years in San Francisco, and discusses the role music played in her childhood. She discusses the meaning of spirituals to early African American slaves, and recounts how these slaves brought their music and culture with them from Africa. She also discusses the role of spirituals in the lives of African Americans today. Rev. Flunder describes her doctoral work and the dissertation she completed at San...
Dates: 1999 May 25; Issued: 2003
Overview Born in Connecticut of parents from the South, Vincent Stringer recounts his early memories of growing up in a religious, singing family. He discusses his appreciation of spirituals that began in high school after obtaining a scholarship to study voice at the West Hartford School of Music and Dance. He describes his vision of spirituals as possessing an innate divinity and healing power, but believes many African Americans are ashamed of their enslaved past and the spirituals that are...
Dates: 1999 May 31; Issued: 2003
Overview William Warfield recounts his early experiences of studying music with well-known artists such as Robert Nathaniel Dett and Paul Robeson, and some of his early performance experiences. He discusses his approach to performing any musical work, including spirituals and classical works, in which he visualizes what the music is saying before and while he performs it. He describes the spiritual as a folk song that is part of the cultural inheritance of all Americans, and believes that the...
Dates: 1999 August 4; Issued: 2003