The Penn State School of Music's annual African American Music Festival continues with a program including performances by School of Music faculty member Velvet Brown, choral ensembles Oriana Singers and the Penn State Glee Club, and student Daniel Wells and friends.
The Penn State African American Music Festival celebrates the music of African Americans and African American composers. Typically occurring in February (Black History Month), the annual festival includes performances by Penn State faculty and students as well as guest artists. In February, 1995, Essence of Joy presented the first concert titled “Celebration of African American Spirituals,” and in 1997, Anthony Leach coordinated the first symposium on the African American Spiritual, involving guest artists, lectures, and choral performances. Since that time, the event has developed into a multi-day collaborative venture within the School of Music and beyond. In 2009, the name of the festival was changed to the "African American Music Festival" in order to be more inclusive of the variety of music offered by the performers. The festival is coordinated by faculty member Anthony Leach.
The African American Music Festival is part of the 2016-17 initiative titled “All In at Penn State: A Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion.” This event is generously supported by the University Park Allocation Committee (UPAC).
Oriana Singers, conducted by Jayne Glocke
- Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child ♦ arranged by Nina Gilbert
- Ain'-A That Good News! ♦ William L. Dawson
Penn State Glee Club, conducted by Christopher Kiver
- He's Got the Whole World in His Hands ♦ arranged by Fenno Heath
- Soon Ah Will Be Done ♦ William L. Dawson
Penn State Glee Club and Oriana Singers
- Great Day! ♦ arranged by Warren Martin
Velvet Brown, tuba; Kathy Gattuso Cinatl, piano
- Allegro moderato dramatico (from Concerto for Tuba) ♦ Kenneth Amis
Velvet Brown, tuba; Anthony Leach, piano
- Three Spirituals ♦ Harry T. Burleigh
- Monument: An Elegy in Memory of Tommy Johnson, 1935-2006 ♦ John Stevens
Daniel Wells, vocals and saxophone; Openyemi Ogunmoyin, vocals; Caleb Musekiwa, keyboards/piano; Gabriel Green, bass; Emanuel Gamble, percussion
- Afro Blue - Robert Glasper ♦ Eryka Badu
- Ah Yeah - Robert Glasper ♦ Musiq Soulchild and Chrisette Michele