UAB Gospel Choir to hold “Gospel Anthology II,” Nov. 21


The UAB Gospel Choir will pay tribute to the music and heroes of Alabama’s steel and coal history and the Civil Rights Movement — and celebrate its own 16th anniversary — with a theatrical concert, “Gospel Anthology II,” on Nov. 21, 2011.

“Gospel Anthology II: The Church & the Civil Rights Movement” will pay homage to an era of freedom and protest songs sung at marches throughout the Southeast and the nation. The concert will feature inspirational songs that later became musical standards in the pursuit of civil and human rights. Selections will range from “Freedom Highway” by the Staple Singers to “A Change Is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke. This event will honor the music and heroes of the Civil Rights era both locally and nationally, including reverends Joseph Lowery, Abraham Woods and Martin Luther King Jr., says UAB Gospel Choir Director Kevin Turner.

“The UAB Gospel Choir will take you on a musical journey from Alabama across the United States, paying tribute to foot soldiers, marchers and freedom riders,” Turner says.

Even the jazz era is included, as the UAB Gospel Choir visits Ensley’s former Tuxedo Junction, a musical hotspot from a time long past. Tuxedo Junction was a place where relief was sought from racial disparities with another kind of musical message.

“For this concert, storytellers will be on hand, and there will be Negro spirituals, ballads and some foot-stomping music. The music sung in Alabama’s coal mines and Memphis’ Poor People’s March also will be part of the concert,” Turner says.

Additionally, the event will celebrate the choir’s 16th anniversary. “Gospel Anthology II” will begin at 7 p.m. Nov. 21 in UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. Tickets are $7 and are available at the Alys Stephens Center Box Office and the UAB Ticket Office. Advance purchase is strongly recommended. For tickets, call 205-975-2787 or 205-934-8001. Visit the UAB Department of Music online at

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“Gospel Anthology II” follows the UAB Gospel Choir’s magnificent 2008 concert, which chronicled centuries of African-American music and featured dramatic dance and theatrical performance. The live concert DVD was selected by Birmingham City Schools for its Black History Month curriculum. This concert will have equal significance, coming in the same year that the Freedom Riders celebrate their 50th anniversary and the MLK Memorial/Monument opens in Washington, D.C.

The DVD of this concert will include interviews with members of the Carlton Reese Memorial Unity Choir, who provided music for many of the rallies and marches during the height of the movement, and other local participants. Two local recipients will receive Gospel Anthology Awards at the concert, Turner says.


From UAB News/Shannon Thomason


Here are scenes from the last “Gospel Anthology” concert.


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