Songs From the Fields - Slave and Spiritual Songs
Contact: Kirby Shedlowski, 410-823-1309, x251
Sunday, November 8, 2009; 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Feel the desire for freedom, hear the struggle and strength in songs, learn the history of spirituals and uncover the meanings behind the words. Discover the words, tunes, and meanings of the very famous spirituals to the somewhat obscure, from the arrival of the first slaves in Jamestown, VA in 1619 to the field hands picking cotton in the 1850’s, to the songs of the Civil Rights movement- join James Thomas for a very special concert at Hampton NHS on Sunday, November 8, 2009.
Mr. Thomas will provide a historical backdrop from the 1619 arrival of the first slaves in Ja mestown, VA. He will share the three styles of spirituals adapted from Africa and the important role that the language of churches played in spirituals. Mr.. Thomas will perform well known spirituals, such as “Roll Jordon Roll”, “I’ve Been Buked”, “Nobody Knows”, “My Soul’s Been Anchored”, “Wade in the Water” and many more. This free concert and lecture will give the audience the opportunity to hear songs that undoubtedly were sung here at Hampton by the hundreds of enslaved African Americans who worked in the fields, but also at the ironworks.
Mr. Thomas has given presentations on spirituals in Germany, Brazil, Austria, Sweden, Africa, and across the United States. He is the president and founder of The US Slave Song Project, Inc. and since 1976 has been the founding director of The American Red Cross Chorus. As a student at Fisk University in Tennessee, Mr.. Thomas sang with the world renowned Fisk Jubilee Singers, later he performed with the Robert Shaw Chorale and the Paul Hill Chorale. In 1999 he was awarded the National Diversity Award by the American Red Cross, and in 2000 he was the recipient of the American Red Cross President’s award for leadership.
This program is FREE and open to the public. Seating is limited and available on a first come first served basis. Please call the park for more information: 410.823.1309 x 251.