The College of Arts and Architecture

Essence of Joy

essence of joy
Sunday, October 8, 2017 - 3:00pm
Worship Hall- Pasquerilla Spiritual Center - University Park, PA

General admission $4.99/students $2

No advance ticket purchase is available. Ticket sales begin 45 minutes prior to the concert in the lobby. Cash only.

Essence of Joy presents its first concert of the season in the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center's Worship Hall. The concert features two contrasting arrangements of the spiritual "Ride the Chariot," as well as two arrangements of "America the Beuatiful" by Essence of Joy alumnus Mark Lehnowsky and founding conductor Anthony Leach.The music director of Essence of Joy is Anthony Leach.

This concert is available on livestream at the Penn State School of Music.

Program (to be selected from)

Striving After God ♦ Undine Smith Moore

This Is the Day ♦ Reverend Joe Pace, II

Lift Every Voice and Sing ♦ arranged by Roland Carter

Ride the Chariot ♦ arranged by William Henry Smith

Ride de Chariot ♦ arranged by Jason Max Ferdinand

To Sit and Dream ♦ Rosephanye Powell

Jenga Imani Yako ♦ Israel Kagaruki, edited by Eugene Rogers             

America the Beautiful ♦ arranged by Mark Lehnowsky

America the Beautiful ♦ arranged by Anthony Leach

Why Do We Sing? ♦ Gale Jones Murphy

Thinking of You ♦ Anthony Brown

I Just Want to Say Thanks ♦ Raymond Wise

The Lord Is My Light ♦ Percy Bady

Anticipation ♦ V. Michael McKay


Created in 1991, Essence of Joy sings sacred and secular music from the African and African American choral traditions. Annual University Park events include fall and spring concerts, as well as the "African American Music Festival" (February) and "Our Gift in Song" (December). The choir also regularly collaborates with other Penn State ensembles, including a performance of the Leonard Bernstein Mass in 2013. Involving undergraduate and graduate students from all academic programs at Penn State, Essence of Joy has performed throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Georgia, Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee, Ohio, and Illinois. The choir has been invited to perform for conferences of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (1995, 1997, 2003), the eastern division of the Music Educators National Conference (1997, 2003), the eastern division of the American Choral Directors Association (2002, 2006, 2014, 2017), the national American Choral Directors Association (1999, 2003, 2005, 2011), and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (2000). In addition, they have presented concerts at the Schomburg Museum of Black American Culture in New York City (1998, 1999, 2001). The choir has released four compact discs: "The Soul and Spirit of Essence" (1998), "Essence 'Live'" (2000), "Lift Every Voice and Sing", and "The Light" (2003). The choir made its first European tour in 2001 with concert performances in Poland and the Czech Republic. Recent tours have taken Essence of Joy members to South Africa, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Canada, Spain, and France.

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