Exploring Spirituals and the story of the Fisk Jubilee Singers in Hull

5 Nov 2016 / East Yorkshire


Date: 5 Nov 2016

Cost: £16 or £5 concessions

Details: 10am - 4pm

Location: Albemarle Music Centre, Ferensway, Hull

Website: http://www.michael-harper.net/

Email: Clare.drury@hullcc.gov.uk

Run by: Michael Harper and Clare Drury

Further information:

A singing workshop day with dynamic choral leader Michael Harper.

In the early 1870s, the Fisk Jubilee Singers of Nashville Tennessee toured Europe. They made their first visit to Hull, singing the songs they had learned in the forced servitude of their people. Most of them teenagers, most of them former slaves, they toured to raise money for the survival of their new educational institution, originally Fisk Freed Colored School, now Fisk University.

They toured Europe through the efforts of Lord Shaftesbury, and sang for the aristocracy of England, including Queen Victoria and Gladstone. One of the places they stopped to sing was Hull, the native city of slavery abolitionist, William Wilberforce. In their account of their visit to Hull they recognised the connection of his work with theirs.

The songs these young singers brought to the world have taken hold and influenced many generations – from the numerous Jubilee groups that sprung up in the 19th– and 20th – centuries; blues, jazz; gospel; soul; rock and roll; American and international classical musicians  – Harry T. Burleigh, Antonin Dvorak, George Gershwin,  Margaret Bonds, Florence Price,  Aaron Copland, and numerous other American and British composers including Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Michael Tippett, and Errollyn Wallen; international civil rights movements; right down to some of our most famous campfire and rugby songs (Swing Low Sweet Chariot, John Brown’s Body). You can read more about their connection to Hull here: http://www.africansinyorkshireproject.com/fisk-jubilee-singers-part-one.html

This one day workshop  will explore the creativity of these most influential musicians who changed the face and sound of western music. We will explore the sound of some of the original arrangements of the Fisk Jubilee Singers – the melodies, the harmony, and the words – and their meaning.  The workshop is open to singers of all levels.  Songs will be taught by ear.