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September 2019

Reflecting on the Past…Reaching toward the Future, II

September 13 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am EDT
E. V. Moore Building (University of Michigan), 1100 Baits Dr.
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
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This conference focuses on the curation of music of the African Diaspora for future research and performance from September 12-15, 2019. Through a series of lectures, panels and performances by leading scholars, composers and performers, attendees will discuss rediscovered operas, have conversations on the newly created operas on African American themes, hear a workshop performance of Edmonia by William Banfield, discuss sociopolitical musical thought, and the 400 year suite (commemorating 400 years since the beginning of slavery), discuss innovations in…

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October 2019

It’s Ladies’ Night–Spirituals by Women Composers

October 10 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm CDT
Carman Center, Mayflower Community, 616 Broad St.
Grinnell, IA 50112 United States
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Soprano Randye Jones and pianist Marlys Grimm present a mini-program of spirituals by Margaret Bonds, Florence Price, Maria Thompson, Undine Smith Moore, Julia Perry and Betty Jackson King.

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Must You Be Black to Sing Spirituals?

October 22 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm CDT
Marshelltown Public Library, 105 W Boone St
Marshalltown, IA 50158 United States
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Author and musician Randye Jones will discuss the question of whether non-Black singers--either soloists or choirs--should study and perform Negro spirituals. She will spend some time on historical concerns, on points to consider when deciding whether to study spirituals and on some thoughts about using dialect in performance. Jones’ presentation will serve as an opportunity for attendees to participate as well—after all, how can folks talk about singing without doing some. The program is free and open to the public.

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November 2019

Carry Me Home: A Story of the Underground Railroad Told in Song

November 10 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm CST
First Presbyterian Church, 220 N. 2nd Ave. E.
Newton, IA 50208 United States
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A concert of Negro spirituals performed by soprano Randye Jones and pianist Marlys Grimm. The spirituals, set by composer Harry T. Burleigh, along with excerpts from slave narratives, tell a story of the historic Underground Railroad and the escapees who took the perilous journey to freedom.

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Carry Me Home: A Story of the Underground Railroad Told in Song

November 17 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm CST
Herrick Chapel, Grinnell College, 1128 Park St.
Grinnell, IA 50112 United States
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A concert of Negro spirituals performed by soprano Randye Jones and pianist Marlys Grimm. The spirituals, set by composer Harry T. Burleigh, along with excerpts from slave narratives, tell a story of the historic Underground Railroad and the escapees who took the perilous journey to freedom. The program is free and open to the public.

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December 2019

Book Talk: “So You Want to Sing Spirituals”

December 28 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm EST

Author and musician Randye Jones will discuss her new book, So You Want to Sing Spirituals: A Guide for Performers. Although the book covers a range of subjects related to studying concert spirituals both for solo voice and choral forces, Jones’ current plan for the talk is to discuss some of the "war horses" and the beautiful "rare gems" in the spirituals song literature and their composers. Jones’ book talk will serve as an opportunity for attendees to participate as…

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February 2020

Book Talk: So You Want to Sing Spirituals

February 5, 2020 @ 4:15 pm - 5:15 pm CST
Burling Library, Grinnell College, 1111 6th Ave.
Grinnell, IA 50112 United States
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Author and musician Randye Jones will discuss her new book, So You Want to Sing Spirituals: A Guide for Performers. Although the book covers a range of subjects related to studying concert spirituals both for solo voice and choral forces, Jones’ current plan for the talk is to focus on the question of whether non-Black students should study and perform these songs. The presentation will spend some time on historical concerns, on points to consider when deciding whether to study…

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May 2020

Lecture: Harriet Tubman and the Songs of the Underground Railroad

May 12, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CDT

Abolitionist Harriet Tubman became known as “Moses” for her exploits as she led dozens of escaped slaves along the hazardous routes of the Underground Railroad during the antebellum period of the United States. Tubman and others within the Underground Railroad used secret codes, including the singing of specific Negro spirituals, to communicate with one another without the knowledge of those outside the system. What were these songs and how did Tubman and other “conductors” use them so successfully? Music historian…

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