She Don't Stop
Concert Illustration by Ricci Michaels
MUSE presented this New Spirituals-style concert in November 2018 that offered a musical narrative traced from the Post-Reconstruction Era to modern-day, with special emphasis on the woman's voice and musical contributions surrounding Civil Rights issues in America. MUSE welcomed collaborator, Dr. Tammy Kernodle of Miami University, who wove the rich history of the relationship between music and the African American experience around MUSE’s performance.
Held at Memorial Hall, MUSE performed new commissions and arrangements by African American women composers such as Jacqueline Hairston, Lori Hicks, and Maria Thompson-Corley; songs like Nina Simone's daring protest song “Mississippi Goddam”, Ysaye Barnwell's “Go Down Moses”, and “Strange Fruit”, made famous by Billie Holiday. MUSE also welcomed Siri Imani of TRIIIBE back to the stage.
Dr. Tammy Kernodle
A Brief History of the New Spirituals Project
Beginning in 1994 under the leadership of Dr. Catherine Roma, MUSE partnered with Linda Tillery on the New Spirituals project, commissioning women of color to compose original works and arrangements in the African American tradition. Over the next 16 years, MUSE produced a total of thirteen New Spirituals concerts, forming a long journey that has served to educate and enrich choir members as well as our audience.
To learn more about The New Spiritual Project and MUSE's involvement in it, please watch two videos narrated by MUSE Founding Mother, Diana Porter.