Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940, Jill Brett (202) 707-2905

July 1, 1993

African-American Sacred Music Concert

The Philadelphia Ambassadors Chorale and Ensemble, directed by Evelyn Simpson-Curenton, will present a program of traditional African-American sacred music, including gospel, on Thursday, July 15 from 12 noon to 1 p.m. on the steps of the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building.

The concert is sponsored by the Library's American Folklife Center as part of its Neptune Plaza Concert Series. The rain location is the Mumford Room, sixth floor, Madison Building.

The Philadelphia Ambassadors Chorale and Ensemble is a Philadelphia-based group of 14 singers that has been delighting audiences for over 10 years. Among their many appearances, the group has performed for the governor of Pennsylvania, President Jimmy Carter's inaugural, and the Rochester Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall. At the Library, their performance will include a retrospective of African-American sacred music spanning from 18th century spirituals to contemporary gospel music.

Spirituals grew out the combination of African cultural expression combined with Christian imagery and European hymnody during the camp meeting revivals of the late 18th century. Gospel's development is linked to the great migration of blacks from the rural South to the urban centers in the North during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The popularity of this musical form is largely attributed to Thomas Dorsey, often called "The Father of Gospel," and his mentor, Rev. Charles Albert Tindley. It combined the characteristics of spirituals and jubilee (songs of celebration) with the rhythms, scales, and instrumentation of jazz and blues.

Public contact: (202) 707-6590

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PR 93-085
ISSN 0731-3527

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