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Fisk Jubilee Singers kick off 2018 tour at CCU

January 16, 2018
Fisk Jubilee Singers

The Fisk Jubilee Singers, the celebrated ensemble of vocal artists and students based at Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., bring their globally renowned program to Coastal Carolina University on Sunday, Jan. 28, at 4 p.m. in Wheelwright Auditorium.

This group of 18 a cappella performers opens its 2018 tour at CCU, continuing a tradition of sharing the power and passion of sacred folk music.

The original Jubilee Singers introduced “slave songs” to the world in 1871, breaking racial barriers in the U.S. and abroad, and were instrumental in preserving this unique American musical tradition.

“The Fisk Jubilee Singers played a vital role in popularizing the singing of Negro spirituals during the late 19th century,” said Eric Crawford, CCU assistant professor of music. “The original ensemble of nine singers was formed initially by music professor George White for the express purpose of raising the necessary monies to keep their school open. However, this group’s wonderful spiritual arrangements and powerful performances quickly brought them national and international acclaim and enough money to not only save Fisk University, but to buy land. Through their efforts, other historically black colleges and universities developed similar touring concert choirs, firmly establishing the Negro spiritual as an American art form.”

The Fisk Jubilee Singers traveled on a sacred journey to Ghana in 2007 at the invitation of the U.S. Embassy for the nation’s Golden Jubilee, the 50th anniversary of independence. The group also received the 2008 National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest honor for artists and patrons of the arts, presented by George W. Bush, and are featured in the award-winning PBS documentary “Jubilee Singers: Sacrifice and Glory.”

The event is sponsored by CCU’s Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts, Department of Music, Multicultural Student Services, Charles Joyner Institute for Gullah and African Diaspora Studies, and the Burroughs Fund.

General admission is $17. Senior citizens, OLLI members, CCU alumni, teens and CCU/HGTC faculty and staff are $10. Tickets for children and CCU/HGTC students are $5.

Wheelwright Auditorium is located at 108 Spadoni Park Circle on the main Conway campus. Parking is available at nearby parking lots.

For more information on the event, contact Amy Tully at atully@coastal.edu or 843-349-2352. For tickets, call the Wheelwright Box Office at 843-349-ARTS (2787) or visit coastal.edu/culturalarts or ticketreturn.com. Wheelwright Box Office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Learn more about the Fist Jubilee Singers at fiskjubileesingers.org.