The National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpieces Initiative and the Tennessee Arts Commission present the Fisk Jubilee Singers: Singing Our Song at the Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville on Friday, Feb. 15, at 8 p.m. The Arts & Culture Alliance is the local host of the concert, which also features performances by The Carpetbag Theatre and Praise, Honour and Glory.
The American Masterpieces project was developed to introduce Americans to the best of their cultural and artistic legacy. The goal of the project is to remind the citizens of Tennessee of their extraordinary musical heritage, as the Fisk Jubilee Singers, an institution for more than 135 years, perform slave spirituals and choral music.
The African American spirituals are masterpieces in every sense, artistically profound and enormously influential. Some of the songs that Fisk Jubilee Singers will perform include "Ain't That Good News", "My Lord, What a Morning," and "There is a Balm in Gilead."
There is a daytime performance for school children at 10:50 a.m. on Feb. 15, which includes about 45 minutes of music and a Q&A session with the singers. A teacher study guide is available on the Alliance's Website by visiting http://www.knoxalliance.com/news/documents/FiskTeacherGuide.pdf.
Tickets are on sale now through KnoxTIX and can be purchased by calling (865) 523-7521 or visiting www.knoxtix.com. Ticket prices are $15 for general admission, $12.50 for seniors or groups of 10 or more and $5 for children under 18. Tickets are also available at the Tennessee Theatre box office or through Tickets Unlimited. The Tennessee Theatre is located at 604 S. Gay Street in downtown Knoxville.
The Fisk Jubilee Singers are young men and women, vocal artists and students of Fisk University in Nashville who sing and travel worldwide. The original Jubilee Singers introduced 'slave songs' to the world in 1871 and were instrumental in preserving this unique American musical tradition known today as Negro spirituals. They broke racial barriers in the U.S. and abroad in the late 19th century and entertained Kings and Queens in Europe. At the same time they raised money in support of their beloved school.
The Carpetbag Theatre is a community based, non-profit, professional theatre company founded in 1970 and dedicated to the production of new works. They will perform sacred music in the style of the 1930s, including "John Henry," "When He Calls Me, I Will Answer", and "Wading through Deep Water."
Praise, Honour and Glory is a Christian music ministry based in Knoxville whose outreach is to churches, schools, charities, and the community at large. Besides cities in Tennessee, the group has traveled to Virginia, Ohio and South Carolina performing concerts.
This event is supported by St. Mary's Medical System, WBIR TV-10, the Knoxville News Sentinel, WUOT 91.9FM and the Psi Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. of East Tennessee.
For more information, call the Arts & Culture Alliance at (865) 523-7543.