Thursday, February 23, 2012

An Afternoon of African American Spirituals

Sherry Boone, Harriett D. Foy and Brandie Sutton
February - the month that some celebrate the history and accomplishments of blacks - features several productions about the black experience on the New York City stage. By far, the most moving and impressive seen to date is The African American Spiritual: A Black History Month Tribute Concert. The passionate soprano Sherry Boone, the deep and soulful Harriett D. Foy, and the classic and elegant soprano Brandie Sutton took the audience (and me) on a journey of pain, slavery and hope through song. When tears emerged from these wonderful singers' eyes as they sang, I was filled with emotions that I have not felt at a performance on the New York City stage in recent memory. Wiping the tears that swelled in my own eyes, I left the Merkin Concert Hall on February 5th reflective but somehow alive. Thank you to these three women. What a honorable and memorable event.

Song List 

Part I - The Middle Passage and Slavery
An African Children's Song
Watch and Pray
Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child
Lord, How Come Me Here?
Song for a Dark Girl
You'd Never Believe (from the Opera Ellen Craft)

Part II - Escape and the Underground Railroad
And I Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray
Go Down Moses
Steal Away
No More Auction Block for Me
Slavery Chain
He Never Said a Mumblin' Word
Over My Head (I Hear Music in the Air)

Part III - Freedom in the North
Poor Wayfarin' Stranger
Every Time I Feel the Spirit
Gospel Train
Change My Name
O Freedom

Part IV - Heaven and Transcendence
Ain't a That Good News
Ride On King Jesus
Ride on Jesus
Give Me Jesus
Oh What I Beautiful City


Sherry Boone
Harriett D. Foy
Darius Frowner (Musical Director/Pianist)
Brandie Sutton

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