The Spirituals Project Choir is an integral part of The Spirituals Project organization. The Choir consists of singers of all ages and backgrounds with varying degrees of musical experience. They celebrate the varied traditions of the spirituals, and provide opportunities for people to connect personally with the spirituals through performance.
One tradition of the spirituals are the slave songs themselves, historically sung in solitude, while working, or and communally. Another is the concertized versions of the spirituals, which were first brought to public prominence by the Fisk Jubilee Singers in the last quarter of the 19th Century. The spirituals have continued to be performed in successive generations by such great concert artists as Marian Anderson, Roland Hayes, Paul Robeson, and Jessye Norman. It is in the tradition of such musicians and artists that the Choir carries on the commitment to sharing these uniquely American songs.
The Choir primarily sings written arrangements of the spirituals, many of which have become part of the standard choral concert repertoire. They include the works of Nathaniel Dett, H.T. Burleigh, William L. Dawson, Jester Hairston, Moses Hogan, John Wesley Work, Hall Johnson, Undine Smith Moore and Alice Parker. In addition, the choir performs new arrangements – many written expressly for the Spirituals Project Choir – that bring back a more basic form, nearer to the style in which the songs were sung. This "minimalist" style often serves to make these songs more accessible to wider audiences and allows them to re-discover the earlier forms of African American music that so effectively moved people worldwide.
Although The Spirituals Project is a secular organization, the Choir performs frequent concerts in church venues. Other venues include the magnificent Boettcher Concert Hall at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the Newman Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Denver, the Denver Art Museum, History Colorado Museum, as well as appearances in Colorado Springs, Broomfield, Longmont, and Boulder.
In September of 2016, The Spirituals Project joined the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver.
Become a member of one of the country's most unique and dynamic choral groups. Auditions for the Spirituals Project Choir are ongoing and we're always eager to welcome committed new voices to our community. We invite singers who share a passion for the spirituals and a desire to work for justice, healing, and reconciliation to audition for the Choir of The Spirituals Project. We offer joyful and challenging singing experiences, the joy of sharing the richness of the varied spirituals traditions with audiences, and the opportunity to forge new friendships, thereby enriching all our lives.
Some musical experience, a strong singing voice, an ear for harmonies, and an eagerness to be involved in the mission of the organization are the basic requirements. The ability to read music is helpful, but not essential. New members are asked to attend an orientation session to further their understanding what it means to be a member of the Spirituals Project Choir. Please feel free to contact us to schedule your audition.
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