CSO Spirirual Ensemble honors Underground Railroad

  • Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The CSO Spiritual Ensemble, a 35 member vocal group focusing on traditional African-American spirituals, will celebrate its fifth anniversary and honor African-American History Month on Saturday, Feb. 2 with a performance entitled “No Trouble at the River: The Perilous Story of The Underground Railroad.” The event will take place at 5p.m. at Centenary United Methodist Church, 60 Wentworth Street.

Director David A. Richardson will lead the ensemble in a moving tribute to the escape network of fugitive slaves known as the Underground Railroad. The railroad formed in the early 19th century and peaked the mid-1800s and consisted of meeting points, secret routes, transportation and safe houses provided by abolitionist sympathizers. Escaped slaves would move north along the route from one way station to the next. “Conductors” on the railroad came from various backgrounds and included free-born blacks, white abolitionists and former slaves themselves.

Spirituals and other songs helped expressed hope for deliverance from their sorrows, and the performance will weave a number of musical selections including “No Trouble at the River,”“Pie Jesu,” an ode to those who lost their live running for freedom, “Deep River” and “Keep Your Lamps” among others accompanied by historical footnotes from Dr. Karen A. Chandler about the history of this important freedom movement.

CSO Spiritual Ensemble president Lee Pringle says, “February marks the ensemble’s fifth year honoring the official music of the state of South Carolina. Most importantly, our membership looks forward to sharing this music, part of America’s musical history, in the historic Centenary United Methodist Church.”

David A. Richardson, director says, “As a child I learned the importance of the invisible railroad and its significance in liberating my ancestors. So our February offering honoring the history of African-Americans resonates as my favorite performance. Reflecting upon the enormous contributions African-Americans have made to this great nation through song brings great joy to my heart and the entire Ensemble membership.”

Tickets/Information

What: “No Trouble at the River: The Perilous Story of The Underground Railroad”

When: Saturday, Feb. 2, 5p.m.

Where: Centenary United Methodist Church, 60 Wentworth Street

Details: General Admission tickets are $20 adults; children or students $10 with ID. To purchase tickets go online at www.csospiritual.com or call 866-811-4111; Monday through Friday, 9a.m.-9p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10a.m.-6p.m.Tickets may also be purchased atthe door with cash or check only up to one hour before each performance.

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