4:40 AM / Thursday December 1, 2022

3 Mar 2017

A joyful noise in Germantown for historic month

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March 3, 2017 Category: Entertainment Posted by:

By Kendall Alexander


Music is to African-American heritage as hydrogen bonds are to DNA–essential.  Before we were ever lawfully allowed to read and write, music imbodied our desire for freedom.  We used anything we could get our hands on to make sonic magic come to life.  So many of the different musical forms which sprang from our ancestors keep us going today.  Negro spirituals were passed down orally and aurally with coded messages, as it was dangerous to give away too much information.  Gospel music evolved from these messages, becoming a revered and soulful art form for the masses.

The combined choirs of Find Your Instrument! Choir, Pennsylvania Girlchoir, and the Keystone State Boychoir sung in the halls of the Historic Johnson House in Germantown, honoring Black History Month.
Photos courtesy: Kendall Alexander

On an unseasonably warm Saturday afternoon, the Historic Johnson House in Germantown memorialized the importance of joyful music as they welcomed “The Good Raised Up,” a choral performance paying homage to enslaved Africans and abolitionists in celebration of Black History Month.  Presented through PNC Arts Alive! campaign, Find Your Instrument! Choir, the Pennsylvania Girlchoir, and the Keystone State Boychoir showcased their talents in six – 45 minute increments.  During the production, the adolescents moved from the main entranceway into one of the rooms, onto the staircase and even outside as they sang and spoke of the historic struggle for freedom.

Dispite minor technical difficulties with the microphone and sound mixing board, and the logistical arrangement of the choirs, their sound and spirit was overwhelming as they conveyed the lamentations of Black folks.  The Good Raised Up proved to be a choral performance worthy of praise marking the end of this year’s Black History Month.

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