Heritage, whose mission is to perpetuate the “Negro spiritual” as a distinctive art form, will host its 24th annual Festival of Negro Spirituals on Feb. 7.
The event, which will begin at 3 p.m., will be held at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, 185 Eddie Robinson Sr. Drive. Admission is free.
“Heritage has been sharing its love of the Negro spiritual with the world for more than three decades,” says Clarence Jones, founder and director of the nonprofit professional choral ensemble. “We always look forward to the festival and sharing our love of the spiritual with all the great choirs that participate. The Negro Spiritual has a rich legacy that we must pass on to future generations.”
Other choral ensembles scheduled to perform at the 2015 HERITAGE Festival of Negro Spirituals include: Southern University Concert Choir, Baton Rouge; Scotlandville High School Choir, Baton Rouge; the Lafayette Tri-Parish Chapter of GMWA, Lafayette; Eleanor McMain Secondary School Concert Choir, New Orleans; Landry-Walker High School Concert Choir, New Orleans; McKinley High School Concert Choir, Baton Rouge; McKinley High School Gospel Choir, Baton Rouge; New Orleans Black Chorale, New Orleans; New Dimensions Choral Society, Shreveport; and New Dimensions Youth Chorale, Shreveport.
Special guest choir is The Bennie L. Williams Spiritual Voices, of Denver, Colorado, directed by Bennie L. Williams, and The Ebony Chorale, of West Palm Beach, Florida, directed by Dr. Orville Lawton.
Heritage is committed to educate, elevate and enhance the cultural level and appreciation for 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, Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Nashville, Memphis, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Atlanta, Paris and London.