Montgomery native brings American Spiritual Ensemble to AUM on Feb. 11 | Events
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The American Spiritual Ensemble has performed around the world, delighting audiences with dynamic renditions of classic spirituals, jazz tunes and Broadway numbers that highlight the African-American experience. In honor of Black History Month,Auburn University at Montgomery’s Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs will host the ensemble for a free public concert on Feb. 11, 6 p.m., in Goodwyn Hall room 109.
The performance marks a return home for the ensemble’s founding director Everett McCorvey, whose father is a deacon at the historic First Baptist Church on Ripley Street. A tenor soloist, McCorvey has performed worldwide at such venues as the Kennedy Center, Metropolitan Opera and Radio City Music Hall. He is a voice professor and former chair of the music department at the University of Kentucky. Each summer he serves as artist in residence at the American Institute of Musical Study in Graz, Austria.
“Montgomery was so pivotal to my growing up and my development and I am delighted to be able to bring the American Spiritual Ensemble here to Montgomery to share with me the city that had such a profound impact on my life,” McCorvey said.
McCorvey credits his musical success to the excellent education he received in Montgomery Public Schools, including Lanier High School band director Rev. Farrell J. Duncombe and choral teacher Mary Grayson, as well as George Hammett from Jefferson Davis High School.
“They all had a profound influence on my musical career,” McCorvey said. “At the two churches in my life, St. John AME and First Baptist Church, I was introduced to the wonderful world of the American Negro Spiritual. I am grateful to all who helped me on the way and I am honored to bring my professional colleagues of the American Spiritual Ensemble to my Sweet Alabama home.”
Founded by McCorvey in 1995, the American Spiritual Ensemble’s mission is to preserve spirituals – songs that, primarily, originated with American slaves. The group is composed of professional singers from throughout the U.S. who join the tour when breaks in their solo schedule at venues such as the Metropolitan Opera allow. The ensemble has presented diverse concerts throughout the U.S., Europe and South America, recorded four CDs, and was featured in the 2007 PBS documentary “The Spirituals.”
Information Source: AUM