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Olivia Hairston
African American Arts Institute

Last modified: Wednesday, January 21, 2009

IU African American Choral Ensemble to present concert, “Pressing Forward -- No Turning Back"

Jan. 21, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's African American Arts Institute will present a free concert of traditional and contemporary gospel music at 5 p.m.on Sunday, Feb. 22, in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave.

African American Choral Ensemble

Members of the African American Choral Ensemble

Print-Quality Photo

The African American Choral Ensemble's repertoire resonates with the complexities of the black American experience. The larger ensemble offers the public three smaller contemporary gospel groups: SoulACE, Sojourner and God's Progress. These groups honor and preserve the vocal traditions of black gospel music. They have opened for such legendary performers as The Five Blind Boys of Alabama and Ray Charles.

The concert, themed "Pressing Forward -- No Turning Back," represents a journey through gospel music from the past to the present. The concert will feature music from notable artists such as Sam Cooke, contemporary hits by John P. Kee, Richard Smallwood, the Florida Mass Choir and others. Original works by alumni John Harris and Calvin Carrington also will be featured.

SoulACE, Sojourner and God's Progress are under the direction of Professor Keith McCutchen. He is a composer, arranger, pianist and choral director well known for his arrangements and compositions of religious choral music. His music has been recorded by the American Spiritual Ensemble and the St. Olaf Choir. McCutchen also is an accomplished jazz pianist and has performed with Mel Tormé, bassist Richard Davis and drummer Eric Gravatt.

This spiritually uplifting and transformative concert is sure to have your hands clapping and your feet tapping, McCutchen says.