The concert will be held at Holman United Methodist Church, 3320 W. Adams Blvd., the Rev. Henry L. Masters is the host pastor. There is no charge for the concert, a freewill offering will be accepted.
Dr. Don Lee White, Rodena Preston and the recently deceased Glenn Burleigh, will be honored during the gala concert.
Dr. White is a noted composer, arranger, organist-pianist, member of the National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc. (NANM), Georgia Laster Branch of NANM and the founding-director of the dlw Community Chorale. Preston is a musican, conductor, national board member of the Gospel Music Workshop of America and director of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America.
Burleigh was the composer of the popular “Order My Steps,” and many other gospel music presented nationally.
“The careers of these visionary musicians have been devoted to composing, performing, preserving and nurturing the sacred music of the black church. Their compositions will be performed by the Festival Choir at the concert,” said Dr. Hansonia Caldwell, co-director of the festival. “The Annual African Diaspora Sacred Music Living Legends Festival was organized in 2003 to facilitate cultural preservation and awareness and musical exchange within Southern California by bringing distinguished African Diaspora musicians to work with the choral musicians of the area.”
The concert will feature the Festival Choir with voices from the CSU Dominguez Hills Jubilee Choir, Dr. Caldwell, director; and Chamber Singers, Dr. Sally Etcheto, director; the dlw Community Chorale, Dr. White, director; and the Los Angeles Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America, Rodena Preston, director.
Other participants will include the Georgia Laster Branch Symphonic Chorale, Dorothy Hayes, director; Holman’s Choir, William Campbell, director; Knox Presbyterian Church’s Chancel Choir, Dr. Caldwell, director; and El Camino College Ensemble, Dr. Joanna Nachef, director. Dr. Nachef is also co-director of the festival.
Alta Ballard is the featured soloist at the concert and the accompanists include Anthony Kendricks and Carolyn Singleton.
The rehearsals for the Festival Choir will begin on Saturday, April 5, at 2:30 p.m. in LaCorte Hall A103 of CSU Dominguez Hills, 1000 E. Victoria in Carson, Parking Lot 6. Singers from the community are welcome. Registration is $15.
The “Jacqueline Hairston Remembers Jester Hairston” lecture will be featured on Monday, April 7, at 11:30 a.m. Dr. White will present “The Los Angeles History of the African American Church and its Music,” on Wednesday, April 9, at 11:30 a.m. Both lectures held in LaCorte Hall, are free and open to the public.
The festival is presented as a collaborative program of the music departments at CSU Dominguez Hills and El Camino College, and the CSUDH Georgia and Nolan Payton Archive of Sacred Music.
Dr. Caldwell said, “The Center for the Study of African Diaspora Sacred Music and Musicians has as its primary mission the study of the life and work of African Diaspora musicians in the field of sacred music and the preservation and performance of their music. The special focus of the center is to research, collect, preserve and perform the life and work of African Diaspora musicians whose work has been created and/or performed in Southern California.”
The professor of music and Africana studies at CSUDH, Dr. Caldwell is the author of two books in the field, African American Music, A Chronology: 1619-1995, and African American Music, Spirituals.
For more information, call Dr. Caldwell (310) 243-2463, or email Hcaldwell@csudh.edu.