Fisk Jubilee Singers
The original Jubilee Singers was a choral group of students sponsored by Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee (founded 1866), and sponsored by the American Missionary Association (see Anderson 2010). From Oct. 1872 until June 1878 the singers toured the northern U.S. and England, Scotland, Ireland, Holland, Switzerland, and Germany singing a repertory of hymns, parlor songs, and most significantly, spirituals. They were responsible for popularizing spirituals in mainstream white society and for codifying a performance style and canon whose influence is still evident in the 21st century.
The Decision to Perform Spirituals
Spirituals were not originally part of the Jubilee Singers’...
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