BGSU Festival Series hosts American Spiritual Ensemble

BOWLING GREEN, O.—Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts Festival Series celebrates Black History Month with a special performance by the American Spiritual Ensemble at 8 p.m. on Feb. 23 in Kobacker Hall of Moore Musical Arts Center.

Directed by Dr. Everett McCorvey and founded in 1995, the ensemble’s mission is to keep the American Negro spiritual alive. The group has entertained audiences around the world with its dynamic renditions of classic spirituals, jazz and Broadway numbers highlighting the black experience.

On the Festival Series program are classic spirituals such as “Walk Together Children,” “Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel,” “I Wanna Be Ready,” “Ezekiel Saw de Wheel,” “Is There Anybody Here” and “His Name Is So Sweet.” A musical arrangement of poems from American Negro folk sermons and James Weldon Johnson titled “God’s Trombones” will be featured, along with “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” The ensemble will also perform a special Duke Ellington medley and the perennial favorite “Old Time Religion.”

A native of Montgomery, Ala., McCorvey received degrees from the University of Alabama, including a Doctorate of Musical Arts. As a tenor soloist, he has performed in major venues including the Kennedy Center, Metropolitan Opera, Aspen Music Festival, Radio City Music Hall and in England, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, China, Hungary, Poland and the Czech and Slovak republics. During the summers, he serves on the artist faculty of the American Institute of Musical Study in Graz, Austria, and the Intermezzo Opera Program. He also holds an endowed chair in opera studies and is director of opera at the University of Kentucky. McCorvey was the executive producer of the opening and closing ceremonies for the Alltech 2010 World Equestrian Games, the largest equestrian event held in the United States.

For the American Spiritual Ensemble, McCorvey has assembled a talented group of soloists and members who have sung in theaters and opera houses around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera and Houston Grand Opera, and abroad in Italy, Germany, Scotland, Spain, China and Japan.

To purchase tickets online for the performance, visit Tickets can also be purchased by calling 419-372-8171. BGSU students can get a free ticket to the performance at the BGSU Student Union Information desk, courtesy of the Office of Student Affairs.

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