Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers at Clemens Center March 25, 3 p.m.
March 25 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm$25
The Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers (DCJS) will present “An Afternoon of Negro Spirituals” at 3 p.m., Sunday, March 25 at the recently renovated Clemens Center in Elmira. The concert is presented by the Men of Zion Frederick Douglas Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church led by Reverend Michael D. Bell.
Based in Ithaca, NY, DCJS is a diverse chorus of some 80 singers who perform locally and throughout the region – most recently at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and in Brooklyn, NY. As a nonprofit organization, their mission is to preserve the Negro Spiritual and the use of its themes of sorrow, despair, and hope to promote racial healing and social justice. Founding director Dr. Baruch Whitehead, associate professor of music education at Ithaca College, not only conducts this soulful music but also shows how some songs had hidden meanings or special significance to the enslaved Africans who first sang them.
The chorus is unique in that it’s comprised of members of different ages (18-80), heritages and backgrounds: almost 20 Ithaca College voice students, who perform many of the solos; numerous Cornell and Ithaca College deans, faculty, staff, alumni and retirees; and a host of community members (a farmer, physician, retired opera singer, dining and library clerks, veterinarian, attorney, and more).
DCJS is named in honor of civil rights pioneer Dorothy Cotton, an Ithaca resident who worked in Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s inner circle as education director in the 1960s. In 2007 the U.S. Congress officially designated African American spirituals a “national treasure.”
The Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers sponsors include The Community Foundation of Tompkins County, the Community Arts Partnership, the Tompkins County Tourism Program, and the Legacy Foundation of Tompkins County.
The concert is $25, a benefit for Frederick Douglas Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church. For tickets, call 607-734-8191 or 800-724-0159 or online.