Programs on African American Church Music Well Attended

As an extension of the current exhibit, “By God’s Grace,” the Legacy Museum held a two-part program, “An Historical Account of African American Spiritual Music, the first weekend of November. On Saturday November 1, a panel of four local experts spoke to a full house at the Museum on the development of black church music. The panelists for “A Religion that Sings” were CVCC music educator Roger Hoard; Virginia University of Lynchburg theology professor and pastor of Rivermont Baptist Church Rev. Dr. James Cobbs; and Diamond Hill Baptist Church Pastor Emeritus Rev. Dr. Haywood Robinson, Jr.

On Sunday, November 2, Fifth Street Baptist Church hosted “Song Burst.” Rev. Robinson narrated the history of black spiritual music as local musicians demonstrated the musical developments discussed by panelists the day before. For example, Rev. Cobbs lined “Amazing Grace,” the Pleasant Valley Men’s Chorus demonstrated of the style of ‘40s quartets, and Robert Cardwell sang in a style common in the 1950s. Other performers included the Soulsters from Diamond Hill Baptist Church, the Holcomb Rock Men’s Chorus, soloists Dawn S. Read and Monique Gafford, and Albert Mallet on alto saxophone.

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