Various Artists | Guide My Feet: Songs of Aspiration, Hope, And Progress

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Classical: Choral Music Spiritual: Spirituals Moods: Type: Vocal
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Guide My Feet: Songs of Aspiration, Hope, And Progress

by Various Artists

Through vocal solos, choral works, poetry, and commentary—all performed by premier southern concert musicians—“Guide My Feet” sings the storied African American journey toward freedom and harmony for all people.
Genre: Classical: Choral Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Lift Every Voice and Sing
577 Atlanta School Children, Steven Darsey & Todd Skrabanek
4:10 $0.99
2. Commentary
Dwight Andrews
1:15 $0.99
3. Guide My Feet
Indra Thomas & Todd Skrabanek
4:41 $0.99
4. Seek Ye First
Morehouse College Glee Club & David Morrow
4:01 $0.99
5. Narration
Andrew Young
2:29 $0.99
6. Bound for Canaan's Land
Chancel Choir, Anne-Marie Spalinger, Timothy Miller, Meridian Chorale & Norma Raybon
1:59 $0.99
7. Ethiopia Saluting the Colors
Brent Davis & Todd Skrabanek
6:30 $0.99
8. Call and Response
Todd Skrabanek
1:40 $0.99
9. Who’ll Join!
Morehouse College Glee Club, Antoine Griggs & David Morrow
3:41 $0.99
10. I Dream a World
Indra Thomas & Todd Skrabanek
3:39 $0.99
11. In Celebration
Meridian Chorale, Cynthia Shepherd, Stephen Ozcomert, Todd Skrabanek & Steven Darsey
6:38 $0.99
12. The Young Warrior
Timothy Miller & Todd Skrabanek
3:40 $0.99
13. Narration
Andrew Young
2:16 $0.99
14. Ain't Got Time to Die
Meridian Chorale, Steven Darsey & Timothy Miller
2:24 $0.99
15. Out in the Fields
Indra Thomas & Todd Skrabanek
3:27 $0.99
16. The Singing of Angels
Andrew Young
1:28 $0.99
17. He's Got the Whole World
Morehouse College Glee Club, Indra Thomas, Timothy Miller, Todd Skrabanek, Steven Darsey, Chancel Choir & Meridian Chorale
3:34 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Guide My Feet: Songs of Aspiration, Hope, and Progress

From the world-beloved freedom anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing” to T. J. Anderson’s avant-garde “Call and Response,” the Atlanta Music Festival explores the dynamic character of American music and arts through the lens of African American concert music.

This contemporary annual event draws on a century-old musical and cultural heritage. In the wake of Atlanta’s 1906 race riots, Henry Hugh Proctor, Pastor of Atlanta’s First Congregational Church, instituted programs to improve the prospects of black communities and to encourage racial harmony. In May of 1910 white Atlantans produced a highly publicized grand opera week, featuring New York’s Metropolitan Opera. Possibly in response, Reverend Proctor formed “The Atlanta Colored Music Festival Association,” which produced its first concert that August. Thanks to the association’s cordial invitation, among the some 2000 attendees in Atlanta’s Auditorium-Armory was a large contingent from the white community. In an ironic transposition, the entire balcony was reserved exclusively for white seating. The festival featured the most prominent African American concert artists of the day. Reflecting years later, Proctor wrote: “Our Music Festival brought the best musical talent of the race to the city, and attracted great audiences of both races. As a matter of fact, we found that music was a great solvent of racial antipathies, just as David found it a solvent for personal antagonism with Saul.” The concert was presented annually through 1917.

Dwight Andrews, current Pastor of First Congregational Church, revived his congregation’s music festival tradition in 2001 through collaborations with the nonprofit worship-arts organization Meridian Herald, led by Steven Darsey. Since then the music festival, sponsored by Meridian Herald, First Congregational Church, and, from 2011, Emory University, with Andrews as artistic director and Darsey as music director, offers annual performances, engaged scholarship, lectures, the Atlanta Music Festival Conservatory for Youth, and university courses. Honoring Proctor’s vision, the Atlanta Music Festival explores evolving racial and societal landscapes.

The 2011 Atlanta Music Festival featured a dramatic re-creation of the premiere of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” James Weldon Johnson—author, diplomat, and civil rights activist—wrote the hymn’s stirring lyrics. His brother, singer and composer John Rosamond Johnson, composed the music. Five hundred African American school children premiered the anthem in 1900 for a commemoration of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday in Jacksonville, Florida, where the Johnson brothers had been born. From there, the song has resounded throughout the world. Eleven decades later, the Atlanta Music Festival recruited, prepared, and brought choral students in grades four, five, and six from sixteen public and private Atlanta schools to Atlanta Symphony Hall on September 23, 2011. At noon that day, 577 children sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing” with heart-rending conviction. Inspired and shepherded by the much-beloved Rudolph Byrd, Director of Emory’s James Weldon Johnson Institute and scholar of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the re-premiere was among Professor Byrd’s dearest accomplishments before his too early death, at age 58, one month later.

That moving rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” is the first track of this CD. All the other tracks are from the concert culminating our 2011 festival on September 24 at Emory University’s Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. Featured soloists—soprano Indra Thomas and tenor Timothy Miller, both Georgia natives—lend vocal artistry and cultural authenticity. The Chancel Choir of Atlanta’s First Congregational Church evokes historic ties to the church and culture from which the 1910 festival sprang. The Meridian Chorale brings some of the region’s finest soloists, and the renowned Morehouse College Glee Club adds virtuosity and arresting conviction. Dwight Andrews’s compelling commentary puts the music in contemporary societal context, while the lived wisdom that Ambassador Andrew Young invests in his readings moves and enlightens the listener.

The music on this CD ranges in style from the traditional spiritual to the twentieth century avant-garde. Though performed by people of many races, all the music was composed or arranged by African Americans. The Atlanta Music Festival offers its CD to the public, with a hope—consistent with the hope of 1910 festival founders—that this music and these performances will inspire us all to recognize the good and advance harmony among all people.



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