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Experience Musical Magic at the 91st Annual Spelman-Morehouse Christmas Carol Concert Share a Spelman College Press Release

Spelman College


Media Contacts:

Carole C. Carr

Spelman College 

(404) 270-5901

Twitter: @spelmanmedia

D. Aileen Dodd

Morehouse College

(470) 639-0734

2016 Christmas Carol ConcertATLANTA (November 29, 2017)  —This weekend, the 91st Annual Spelman-Morehouse Christmas Carol Concert, a tradition that has marked the opening of the Christmas season for generations of Atlanta residents, will be held on Friday, Dec. 1, Saturday, Dec. 2, and Sunday, Dec. 3 at Morehouse College’s Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel and Spelman College’s Sisters Chapel

The combined holiday voices of the Spelman College Glee Club and the Morehouse College Glee Club take the stage at Morehouse at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 1 and at 6 p.m. on Dec. 3. On Dec. 2, the concert will be held at Spelman at 7:30 p.m. No advanced tickets are required. Admission is free of charge

Performing together and as individual glee clubs, the annual concert will feature traditional carols along with contemporary interpretations of holiday music and a variety of other songs. The singers will also perform audience favorites, including Morehouse’s popular rendition of “Betelehemu” and Spelman’s “We Are Christmas.”

“The annual Christmas Carol Concert is a gift that Spelman and Morehouse are honored to share with families each holiday season,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman. “From their hearts, our students and faculty offer guests a taste of Christmas and launch the holiday season with unforgettable music from across the world.”

The annual Christmas concert dates back nearly a century. It began in December 1927 – two years before Morehouse graduate Martin Luther King Jr. was born, one year before the venerable Atlanta African-American newspaper, the Atlanta Daily World, was founded, as well as the Harlem Globetrotters. The idea for the concert came from the presidents of the two institutions, John Hope of Morehouse and Florence Matilda Read from Spelman. 

The first was held in Spelman’s Sisters Chapel, then the largest venue between the two colleges. The tradition grew as crowds grew, with the concert becoming a three-night affair. When Morehouse’s Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel was built in 1978, the concert partially moved to into the larger venue. Eventually, the format became the two nights at Morehouse and one at Spelman to usher in the Christmas season.

“The annual Christmas Carol Concert is a signature event that attracts visitors from across the state and nation to the AUC to hear our talented and hard-working students sing,” said Harold Martin Jr., C’2002, interim president of Morehouse. “This shared gift from Morehouse and Spelman is our way of saying ‘happy holidays’ to the community we love being a part of. We want everyone in Atlanta to know that we appreciate them and this great city.” 

The directors of the glee clubs are Kevin Johnson, D.M.A., at Spelman and former Morehouse College Glee Club member David Morrow, D.M.A., C’80, at Morehouse. Dr. Johnson and Dr. Morrow said that audiences will enjoy this year’s repertoire of moving pieces that will be sung masterfully by the acclaimed choirs.

“We are happy to say it is a gift to the community,” Dr. Morrow said. “A lot of people start their Christmas holidays with this concert. We are excited.”

About Spelman College

Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a highly selective, 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. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund Founder Marian Wright Edelman; Starbucks COO Rosalind Brewer, Broadway producer Alia Jones, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna President Audrey Forbes Manley, Harvard professor Evelynn Hammonds, author Pearl Cleage; and actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson. For more information, visit

About Morehouse College

Ranked America’s fifth “Most Entrepreneurial College” by Forbes Magazine in 2015, Morehouse College is the nation’s largest liberal arts college for men. Founded in 1867, the College enrolls approximately 2,200 students and is the nation’s largest producer of black men who go on to receive doctorates. Historically, Morehouse also has conferred more bachelor’s degrees on black men than any other institution in the world. Morehouse College is one of the two top producers of Rhodes Scholars among HBCUs. 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 16,000 alumni in 40 states and 14 countries. For more information, visit




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