The Milwaukee Choristers, entering our 28th season under the direction of Dr. James B. Kinchen, Jr., continue to honor the voices of African American choral composers in our concert programming and commissioning of new works.
Here is a list of just some of the talented African American composers whose music we have performed in recent seasons: John Rosamond Johnson, Judith Baity, Margaret Bonds, Roland Carter, R. Nathaniel Dett, William Dawson, Jester Harriston, Robert Harris, Moses Hogan, Hall Johnson, Ulysses Kay, J. Harold Montague, Undine Smith Moore, Robert Morris, Jose Nunes-Garcia, Rosephanye Powell, Eugene Simpson, Mitchell Southall, Andre Thomas, John Wesley Work, III.
John Rosamond Johnson is best known for writing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which came to be recognized as the Black National Anthem. It began as a poem by John’s brother, James, to be performed by students at the segregated Stanton School in Jacksonville, Florida during a celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday in 1900. The Choristers have proudly performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing” several times, including in 2008 with Detroit’s award-winning Brazeal Dennard Chorale.
We are committed to continuing our mission to use the choral arts as a creative way to help African American voices be heard and valued by both our choir members and the greater Milwaukee community.
We hope you are staying healthy and safe! We regret not being able to perform our spring concerts for you as we had planned. Please enjoy a few selections from our archives. Think of us as you listen!
Concerts are supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.