Spirituals & Hymns
This CD is a compilation of songs I have sung in recital throughout my career. I have chosen these certain songs because each one holds a special place to me in my soul. This is a journey through Spirituals, which were created over a 200-year period, but not until after the Civil War were most Americans aware of their existence. This music, so rich and varied, so deeply emotional and expressive, is a testament to the strength and tenacity of the African people who adapted to and enriched all of American culture. Slaves used spirituals to affirm their humanity and to give them hope, faith and courage to go on living when life to seemed to be nothing but endless physical toil, punishment and deprivation. If reading was forbidden, listening wasn't, and slaves caught snatches of hymns outside the slave owner's churches. Out of little scraps of Biblical text and bits and pieces of a psalms and hymns, hundreds of new and beautifully repetitious songs were fashioned and reworked until they became beautiful folk poetry. Negro spirituals are American's first great musical contribution to the world.Hymns were originally modeled on the Psalms and other poetic passages (commonly referred to as 'canticles') in the Scriptures, hymns are generally directed as praise and worship to God. Many refer to Jesus Christ either directly or indirectly.Since the earliest times, Christians have sung 'psalms and hymns and spiritual songs', both in private devotions and in corporate worship. I have also included two Contemporary Gospel songs that inspire me as well.All three genres are close to my heart.I offer this collection to you, as my tribute.