“A richly deserved standing ovation capped another successful John Coltrane Memorial Concert,
with everyone present already impatiently awaiting next year’s edition.”
– The ArtsFuse, 2012 concert review
Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 7:30PM
General admission: $32
Northeastern University • Blackman Theatre, Ell Hall
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Conveniently located right off of the MBTA Green Line (Northeastern University stop) and Orange Line (Ruggles stop)
The John Coltrane Memorial Concert Ensemble will partner with the New England Spiritual Ensemble to present an evening of Jubilee Songs in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, and in memory of the four young girls (Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson & Denise McNair) who were killed in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama on September 15, 1963.
As New England’s premiere vocal ensemble, the New England Spiritual Ensemble is dedicated to the preservation and performance of Negro spirituals, including Jubilee Songs with lyrics that are often more direct in revealing the enslaved Black’s existence.
This year’s concert will feature a select repertoire encompassing a variety of vocal and instrumental manifestations, integrating John Coltrane’s rich contribution to the expansive body of songs codified as Jubilee Songs.
From childhood, Coltrane was well versed in Jubilee Songs. In elementary school, he wrote a research paper on the renowned black concert singer Marian Anderson, who performed a diverse repertoire of spirituals. Coltrane was raised in the religious south and his compositions, such as “Spiritual,” “Alabama,” “Song of the Underground Railroad,” are clearly drawn from his deep familiarity with Negro spirituals.
Based in Boston, the New England Spiritual Ensemble was founded in 1994 by Vincent Dion Stringer, Myran Parker-Brass and Beverly Mosby. The members of the ensemble are conservatory trained, professional musicians who are exceptional communicators. Their performances are captivating and totally engrossing, always involving the audience emotionally.
According to the Boston Globe, the Ensemble is “excellent…blessed with performers who own good voices…daringly expressive”, and reported that their performance “brought a hush to the hall.” Modeled after the world-renowned Fisk Jubilee Singers, the ensemble is devoted to “preserving the art and tradition of Negro spirituals.” As such, members have created several educational outreach programs over the years, including a summer music camp for high school students, a Spirituals symposium that aired online at WGBH, and a joint workshop with the Cantata Singers at Boston Arts Academy’s Summer Institute for educators.
In addition to national and international tours, the New England Spiritual Ensemble has appeared nationally on CBS Sunday Morning, on National Public Radio’s Performance Today, and is the subject of several public television features. Their recording, Comin’ Up Shouting, features the arrangements of spirituals and works of John Andrew Ross.
The New England Spiritual Ensemble includes Christina DeVaughn (soprano), Joei Marshall Perry (soprano), Allyssa Jones (mezzo-soprano), Myran Parker-Brass (alto), Cynthia Harmon (alto), Orlando Lightfoot (tenor), Davron S. Monroe (tenor), David C. Howse (baritone), Daniel Perry (bass), and Milton Wright (bass). www.nespirituals.org