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Celebration of American Music

posted Feb 22, 2015, 4:20 PM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Feb 22, 2015, 4:21 PM ]
This Friday, February 27th, I’ll be singing with the National Chorale in Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall as we present a celebration of masterworks by American composers and arrangers. We’ll be joined by the internationally-renowned American Spiritual Ensemble. There will also be a special performance by the Professional Performing Arts High School Choir, which I've accompanied and taught in the past.

Highlights include Aaron Copland’s arrangement of Shall We Gather at the River and Stomp Your Foot from his opera "The Tender Land". Shenendoah is a traditional American folk song originating from 19th century French voyagers traveling down the Missouri River, telling the story of a trader who fell in love with an Algonquian chief’s daughter, Shenandoah. Alan Gershwin is a New York composer born in 1926, claiming to be the illegitimate son of George Gershwin. Though George had started setting Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address to music, he never finished. Alan did, and it was first performed in 2009 at a Kennedy Center concert marking Lincoln's 200th birthday. Lift Every Voice and Sing was a poem read by 500 school children in 1900 also for Lincoln's birthday celebration. Their principal, James Weldon Johnson, wrote the words to introduce their guest Booker T. Washington. It was set to music soon after by Johnson's brother John.

Other spirituals on the program include Ain't Got Time to Die; Walk Together Children; Ezekiel Saw de Wheel and Soon I Will Be Done With the Troubles of the World. For more information, or to order tickets, call (212) 333-5333 or visit NationalChorale.org.