ATLANTA (November 26, 2019) — Spelman and Morehouse Colleges will usher in the holiday season with the 93rd annual Spelman-Morehouse Christmas Carol Concert series.
This festive choral presentation brings together the mellifluous tones of the Spelman College Glee Club and the Morehouse College Glee Club, two historically Black college choirs that have performed for national and international audiences.
The combined choirs of more than 100 talented students will perform a variety of traditional carols, contemporary interpretations of holiday music, and other signature songs for audiences from across the city of Atlanta and the country.
“The annual Spelman and Morehouse Christmas Carol Concert marks the official entry into the holiday season here at Spelman and throughout the metro Atlanta community,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman. “Each year, this joyous occasion affords our students and faculty the opportunity to showcase their talents in celebration of the unforgettable music of the season. The Christmas Carol Concert is a gift we all look forward to giving every year.”
The opening night performance will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, at the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel, on the campus of Morehouse. Spelman will host the second performance at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7, in Sisters Chapel. A third concert will take place at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8, at Morehouse’s King Chapel. Performances are free and open to the public.
This year’s concert includes the return of an audience favorite, the majestic hymn “Glory to God,” arranged by Kevin Johnson, who is in his 21st year as director of the Spelman Glee Club. The angelic “Ave Maria” by Cesár Alejandro Carillo will be showcased, and the glee clubs will also perform favorites, including Morehouse’s popular rendition of “Betelehemu” and Spelman’s “We Are Christmas.” Songbooks will be provided so that audience members can sing along with the combined choir.
“Excellence abounds at the Atlanta University Center,” said David A. Thomas, Ph.D., president of Morehouse. “The annual Christmas Carol Concert shows the music mastery that students at Morehouse and Spelman possess. The concert has attracted thousands of people over the years. It is our gift to Atlanta to show our appreciation for the city and its residents who visit our colleges and support our programs.”
The Christmas Carol Concert dates back nearly a century. It began in December 1927—two years before Morehouse graduate Martin Luther King Jr. was born, and a year before the founding of the venerable African American newspaper; the Atlanta Daily World. The idea for the concert was developed by Florence Matilda Read, former Spelman president, and John Hope, then president of Morehouse. The first concert was held in Spelman’s Sisters Chapel, which at that time was the largest venue on the two college campuses. The tradition grew as crowds grew, with the concert becoming a three-night affair. When Morehouse’s King Chapel was built in 1978, the concert partially moved into the larger venue. For the last 41-years the colleges have maintained the tradition of ushering in the holiday by performing two nights at Morehouse and one at Spelman.
About Morehouse College
Morehouse College is the nation’s largest liberal arts institution for men. Founded in 1867, the College enrolls approximately 2,200 students and is the nation’s top producer of Black men who go on to receive doctorates. Morehouse is also the top producer of Rhodes Scholars among HBCUs with five Morehouse Men receiving the honor. Historically, Morehouse has conferred more bachelor’s degrees on Black men than any other institution in the world. Prominent alumni include: Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General; Shelton “Spike” Lee, award-winning American filmmaker; Maynard H. Jackson, the first African American mayor of Atlanta; and Jeh Johnson, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security. Morehouse currently has more than 17,000 alumni in 40 states and 14 countries. For more information visit www.morehouse.com
About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a leading liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Spelman is the country’s leading producer of Black women who complete Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The College’s status is confirmed by U.S. News and World Report, which ranked Spelman No. 57 among all liberal arts colleges, No. 22 for undergraduate teaching and No. 6 for both innovation and social mobility among liberal arts colleges, and No. 1 for the 13th year among historically Black colleges and universities. The Wall Street Journal ranked the College No. 3, nationally, in terms of student satisfaction. Recent initiatives include a designation by the Department of Defense as a Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM, a Gender and Sexuality Studies Institute, the first endowed queer studies chair at an HBCU, and a program to increase the number of Black women Ph.D.s in economics. New majors have been added, including documentary filmmaking and photography, and partnerships have been established with MIT’s Media Lab, the Broad Institute and the Army Research Lab for artificial intelligence and machine learning. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman, Starbucks Group President and COO Rosalind Brewer, political leader Stacey Abrams, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna president Audrey Forbes Manley, actress and producer Latanya Richardson Jackson, global bioinformatics geneticist Janina Jeff and authors Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones. For more information, visit www.spelman.edu.