The Influence of Negro Spirituals at Spelman College

Negro Spirituals is a religious form of music that is heavily associated with individuals of African decent. This genre of music seemingly merged African heritage and the enslaved with their experiences of bondage. Negro spirituals has been implemented into many collegiate choris in hopes of both celebrating and representing the history and strength of African culture.

The Spelman College Glee Club

Along side numerous other HBCUs, the Spelman College Glee Club has profoundly acknowledged the importance and beauty of Negro Spirituals. Their execution of African history through music has allowed them to flourish and succeed for more than 95 years.

‘Wade in the Water’ performed by the Spelman College Glee Club.

The Spelman College Glee Club was founded in 1924 and is currently under the direction of Dr. Kevin Johnson, associate professor of music. The choir has a focus on Negro Spirituals and music by African American composers. The Glee Club has created an outstanding reputation for themselves, Spelman, and the culture of African American music. They have traveled throughout the nation and performed at various venues including the White House in 2016 for President Barack Obama, Avery Fisher Hall in New York City, and many more. Internationally, the Glee Club has traveled to Canada, Brazil, Portugal, and Italy.

‘Children, Go Where I Send Thee’ as performed by the Spelman College Glee Club, is a traditional African-American spiritual song.

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