HERITAGE Presents 21st Annual Festival of Negro Spirituals at Christian Life Academy


Saturday, Feb 4, 2012 · 3:00 pm



HERITAGE, the Baton Rouge-based ensemble dedicated to the preservation and performance of the Negro spiritual, will host their annual Festival of Negro Spirituals on Saturday, February 4, 2012 at Christian Life Academy, 2037 Quail Drive - Baton Rouge, LA 70808, at 3:00pm. The event, which HERITAGE has hosted since 1991, will feature performances of spirituals by HERITAGE and several outstanding community and university ensembles. This year’s theme is “Walk and Sing Together Children.” The festival is free and open to the public.

Other choral ensembles scheduled to perform at the 2012 HERITAGE Festival of Negro Spirituals include: Southern University - Baton Rouge ; University of Louisiana at Monroe Interdenominational Ensemble- Monroe; McMain High School - New Orleans; McKinley High School - Baton Rouge; New Dimensions – Shreveport; New Dimensions Youth Chorale – Shreveport; New Orleans Black Chorale - New Orleans; and Ebony Chorale – West Palm Beach, Florida.

HERITAGE, organized in 1976, is a non-profit, professional choral ensemble that was established to fulfill the need of restoring and preserving the legacy of the Negro Spiritual. Spirituals grew out of the earliest musical expressions of enslaved Africans in the farmlands of Colonial America. The ensemble has presented concerts throughout Louisiana as well as Mexico City, Mexico, Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Paris and London. In Rome, HERITAGE was received in an audience with the Pope. Performances within the last five years have included Hampton, VA, Los Angeles, CA, and Saginaw, Michigan. Upcoming performances for 2012 include Morgan City, LA and Houston, TX.

The Ebony Chorale under the direction of Dr. Orville T. Lawton of West Palm Beach, Florida will be the special guest for the festival. As a part of its goal of keeping alive an awareness of the African American heritage, the Chorale is dedicated to the preservation and performances of the Negro Spiritual. The Ebony Chorale has distinguished itself as one of the finest choral ensembles throughout the state of Florida. Their choral expertise has taken them to international acclaim. In November 2006, they performed in the West Africa Choral and Performing Arts Festival, Ghana, West Africa; with additional performances in Cape Coast. In March 2008, the Chorale performed in the International Days of Choir Music Festival in Verona and Rome Italy, with impromptu performances in Venice. In July 2010, the Ebony Chorale traveled to Salzburg, Austria and Munich, Germany performing in the Cantus Salisburgensis Summer Festival. To date, The Ebony Chorale of the Palm Beaches has given over 300 performances throughout the state of Florida as well as Kentucky, North Carolina, and Michigan.

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