American Spiritual Ensemble Celebrates Tradition
The "unmatched" sound of the American Spiritual Ensemble will come to the Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center.
Saturday, Feb. 18
The "unmatched" sound of the American Spiritual Ensemble will come to the Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center at Mercyhurst University on Saturday, Feb. 18, giving audiences the opportunity to immerse themselves in a deep, evocative tradition. "The concert will celebrate the music of the American Negro Slaves, and the story of their struggle will be told through music," explains American Spiritual Ensemble Founder and Director Everett McCorvey. "The music of the slaves started in the cotton fields in the South where this music was sung acapella." Today, the Ensemble continues this tradition, except at a higher level: All of the performers are classically-trained opera singers, which will give the music a rich, poignant beauty.
McCorvey established the Ensemble in 1995. Its members are almost entirely soloists who have performed in venues across America and Europe, yet these highly talented voices unite to highlight the intense harmonies in the blended acapella music that McCorvey likens to the Fisk Jubilee Singers – an early, college-aged group of African American singers who came together in 1900 to introduce this music to a wider audience. This same music performed with more cultivated voices will, McCorvey says, present a sound that is "rich, full, and incredibly exciting."
With the strength and emotion of these voices and the weight of the songs, "the music will touch you in a way that will feel as if it goes directly to your soul," says McCorvey. "Through the music, you experience [the Negro slaves'] plight, their joys, their sorrows, the longing for a better existence. When you leave the concert, you will feel different." – Miriam Lamey
7:30 p.m. // Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center at Mercyhurst University, 501 E. 38th St. // 824.3000 or miac.mercyhurst.edu