Invitational Choral Festival to feature works by African American composers

Published 12:25 pm Wednesday, February 8, 2023

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In honor of Black History Month, Milligan University’s area of music will host the Milligan Invitational Choral Festival on Saturday, Feb. 11, with a final concert at 6 p.m. in the Mary B. Martin Auditorium in Seeger Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.
The event is sponsored by a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission and features Milligan choral groups, faculty and 90 students from seven local high schools.
The concert features a performance of the four-movement sacred work, “The Cry of Jeremiah,” composed by Dr. Rosephanye Powell, professor of voice at Auburn University. The work retells the biblical prophet’s story through music inspired by African, American and European traditions. It was originally commissioned by the American Guild of Organists and premiered at the Lincoln Center.
The concert also will feature Milligan’s music faculty performing the chamber music of African American composers Margaret Bonds, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Betty Jackson King and Florence Price. Faculty performers include Dr. David Brickle, Dr. Kellie Brown, Jamie Buxton, Dr. Noah DeLong, Cheryl Fitzgerald and James West.
High school students performing at the festival represent Cocke County, Daniel Boone, David Crockett, Jefferson County, Morristown East and South Greene high schools, as well as the Highlands Youth Ensemble. Students were nominated by their teachers based on their vocal talent, musical independence and dependability.
“The festival will provide a unique experience to local high school singers, and the final concert promises to be an inspiring and uplifting celebration of music and community for all to enjoy,” said Dr. Noah DeLong, associate professor of music.

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