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Spelman and Morehouse Colleges Continue Annual Christmas Concert Tradition Virtually Share a Spelman College Press Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Mashaun D. Simon
Spelman College
(404) 759-0123
Msimon5@spelman.edu
Twitter: @SpelmanMedia

Christmas Carol ATLANTA (December 7, 2020) — For the first time in its long history, the annual Spelman-Morehouse Christmas Carol Concert will be a virtual, one-hour performance.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a commitment to keeping families safe, the 94th Annual Spelman-Morehouse Christmas Carol Concert, scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 16, will be streamed via Spelman.edu and the Spelman College Facebook page, as well as the Morehouse College YouTube page.

“Normally, during this time of year, we'd gather together to celebrate  the beginning of the holiday season and showcase the magnificent voices of our students. To keep us all safe, we have reimagined the Spelman-Morehouse Christmas Carol Concert, one of our most cherished traditions,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman College. “This year, as we listen to the songs of the Christmas Carol Concert, let us remember to embrace the everlasting spirit of Christmas through the songs that herald new birth and fill us with the sound of hope."

Spelman Morehouse Christmas CarolThis year’s lineup combines past concert favorites with virtual choir performances. Stand outs like Morehouse’s popular rendition of “Betelehemu” and Spelman’s “We Are Christmas,” will be compiled with performances of favorites like “Children Go Where I Send Thee,” arranged by Spelman College Glee Club Director Kevin Johnson and “All ‘Round de Glory Manger,” Leonard de Paur’s male chorus arrangement of Willis Laurence James’ classic spiritual. 

In addition, the combined choirs will virtually perform a variety of traditional carols, contemporary interpretations of holiday music, and classics, including “Galician Christmas Carol on the Feast of the Holy Kings” and “March of the Shepherds.”

“The 94th Annual Morehouse-Spelman Christmas Carol Concert is a beloved tradition that celebrates our faith and love for the world,” said David A. Thomas, Ph.D., president of Morehouse. “The concert signifies the bond that was forged nearly 100 years ago when the presidents of our institutions, John Hope of Morehouse, and Florence Matilda Read of Spelman, organized the Christmas concert to showcase the talents of their students during a period of racial strife. We hope that the songs will bring viewers hope and peace during these unprecedented times.”

Spelman Morehouse Annual Christmas CarolThe concert 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 first concert was held in Spelman’s Sisters Chapel, which at that time was the largest venue on the two college campuses. The tradition became a hallmark of the holiday season in metro Atlanta 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 41 years, the colleges 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 only historically Black college focused on educating men. Founded in 1867, the College 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. The College was recently named on the list of U.S. institutions that produced the most 2019-20 Fulbright Scholars, the nation's flagship international educational exchange program. As the national epicenter for thought leadership on civil rights, Morehouse is committed to helping the nation address the inequities caused by institutional racism, which have created disparities in income, employment, healthcare, housing, and educational opportunities for people of African descent. Prominent Morehouse 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; Louis W. Sullivan, former U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and founding dean of the Morehouse School of Medicine; Bakari Sellers, attorney and CNN political analyst; and Randall Woodfin, elected in 2017 as the youngest mayor of Birmingham in 120 years. Morehouse currently has more than 18,000 alumni in 14 countries. For more information, visit: https://morehouse.edu.

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 & World Report, which ranked Spelman No. 54 among all liberal arts colleges, No. 19 for undergraduate teaching, No. 4 for social mobility among liberal arts colleges, and No. 1 for the 14th 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.

 

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