The Fisk Jubilee Singers, a renowned ensemble based at Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., will be the featured performer at the 2017 Expressions of King’s Legacy at Rochester Institute of Technology. The annual event, now in its 35th year, takes place at noon on Thursday, Jan. 26, in RIT’s Gordon Field House and Activities Center.
An American a cappella ensemble that performs Negro spirituals originally sung by slaves prior to the Civil War, the Fisk Jubilee Singers introduced the general public to a new genre that remains a vibrant musical tradition today. Dating back to 1871 when the ensemble was established, the talented student-singers broke racial barriers in the U.S. and abroad, entertaining presidents and European royalty throughout the years. In 2008, the group received the prestigious National Medal of Arts, presented by President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush during a ceremony at the White House.
The ensemble will give a separate performance the same evening, at 7 p.m. at the Third Presbyterian Church located at 4 Meigs St. Joining the Fisk Singers will be the Third Presbyterian Church’s Chancel Choir and international opera singer Kearstin Piper Brown.
Brown’s virtuoso performances as a concert soloist include an appearance at the Palais Augarten in Vienna, a gala of American music with the Moscow City Symphony Orchestra, Handel’s Messiah with the Lebanon Symphony, the Festival Classique’s Opera Under the Stars concert with the Residentie Orkest in The Hague and the Edison Awards Gala 2010 with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta. She has also performed at the Pasadena Symphony and Pops, Cedar Rapids Chorale and Symphony, and the Hines-Lee Opera Ensemble at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
All events are free and open to the general public. Registrations are recommended for the afternoon session and can be done online at https://www.rit.edu/diversity/rsvp.