BOONE – On Martin Luther King Day 2022, the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country is proud to welcome area audiences to a soul-stirring concert by the American Spiritual Ensemble to commemorate the civil rights pioneer and kick-off Black History Month in the High Country. The popular, award-winning choral group with perform at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 28, marking their debut appearance in the newly renovated and restored venue on King Street in downtown Boone.
Sponsored by Creekside Electronics, this choral group is comprised of some of the finest classically-trained singers in the United States and preserves the traditions of the American Negro spiritual. Founded in 1995 by Dr. Everett McCorvey, this vocal ensemble has thrilled audiences around the world with their dynamic repertoire ranging from spirituals to classical to jazz, with Broadway showtunes that highlight the Black experience, which will be the focus of their programming for the App Theatre program.
ATHC Executive Director Laura Kratt said that, “the pure joy and exuberant power of their vocal performance will lift up the human spirit in celebration of live choral music.”
The American Spiritual Ensemble is unique in that over 90% of the members are accomplished soloists who have sung in theaters and opera houses worldwide, including the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and abroad in Italy, Germany, Britain, Scotland, Spain and Japan. The resulting sound of this group is something that choral groups with two or three featured soloists cannot duplicate.
“In a night full of fabulously stirring performances, an unforgettable moment occurred that really touched many in the audience and on stage,” reported the Kansas City Journal of the Arts. “As they began ‘Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,’ the predominantly Caucasian audience rose, unprompted, a touching moment during these tumultuous times, and a brief sense of unity.”
The American Spiritual Ensemble has presented diverse concerts throughout the United States, Europe and South America and has toured Spain twelve times performing in more than 100 concerts around the globe.
Brian Newhouse, Managing Director of Classical Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media, said of their appearance, “No words can describe the impact the Ensemble made last night, and the night before that at the Minnesota Public Radio dinner. My only wish is that we’d had every music educator in the state in that conference room yesterday afternoon. I feel so bad for any educator who missed that rich, rich experience.”
“Most everyone left the church last night about six feet off the ground,” continued Newhouse, “and I had a helluva time falling asleep last night. Thank you, thank you, thank you. What you do is so incredibly special. The world is a richer place because of you and your Ensemble.”
Tickets are $35 each, and available for purchase online via ATHC’s touchless ticketing portal on the theatre’s website, www.apptheatre.org.
The App Theatre is committed to the safety and well-being of its community and will continue to follow the guidance of health and governmental officials in the development and implementation of COVID related policies.