7:04 AM / Saturday February 24, 2018

9 Nov 2017

Performing Arts series presents A Gospel Celebration, honors an art form with the power to uplift

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November 9, 2017 Category: Oasis Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO:  Gospel Celebration–Dr. Tommy Davis and the Arch Street Presbyterian Church Choir


BRYN MAWR, PA – As the Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series continues its season of adventurous, rousing dance, music and theater, expect Goodhart Hall to resound with the joy, sorrow and deep resilience of African-American sacred music during A Gospel Celebration directed by Dr. J. Donald Dumpson, Saturday, December 2, at 8 PM in the majestic McPherson Theater Auditorium in Goodhart Hall.  From the soul-infused sounds of the Hammond B3 organ, and the smooth Philly stylings of regional gospel greats, this line-up will raise the roof. For this performance, Dumpson brings the Philadelphia Heritage Chorale together with Serena Blanco and the Gospel Music Preservation Alliance, Waverly Alston in the Company of Friends, and special spirit-stirring soloists.


The sacred music born of the African diaspora is euphoric, rhythmic, and spiritual, Gospel music, as one of its forms, is rooted in the solo and responsive church singing of the African American south. Its development coincided with the development of rhythm and blues. In the last 50 years, the appeal of gospel music has taken it well beyond the black church.

The Performing Arts Series’ Gospel Celebration, for people of all ages and creeds, brings the audience on a journey through the music from toe-tapping, hand-clapping gospel to spirituals and classical music. Among the composers whose songs will be featured are Richard Smallwood, Hezekiah Walker, Carol Antrom, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Nathan Carter.

In four distinct segments, this inspiring concert demonstrates the full sweep of gospel music. The Philadelphia Heritage Chorale, founded by Dumpson, presents “From the Plantation to the Concert Hall.” “Traditional Gospel” with The Gospel Music Preservation Alliance features Serena Blanco and other rousing soloists. Waverly Alston in the Company of Friends bring us fully into the sound of gospel today with “Contemporary Gospel Music.” And the show’s finale, “A Jubilant Celebration,” promises to be just that!

Dr. J. Donald Dumpson invites us to “Come, be revived with music for the soul as we bring some of the finest musicians from our region together for Bryn Mawr College’s Gospel Celebration.”

Goodhart Hall, Bryn Mawr College is located at 150 N. Merion Avenue in Bryn Mawr, PA. Flex subscriptions to the remaining series events are $90 each, $75 for seniors.

Tickets to individual events are $20, $18 for seniors, $10 for students and Dance Pass holders or members of, and $5 for children under 12.

Tickets, subscriptions, group sales and more information are available online through Brown Paper Tickets, at or by calling 610-526-5210.

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