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Shared Traditions: Sacred Music in the South
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2/26/2016 to 2/27/2016
When: Friday, February 26, 2016
Where: McKissick Museum and Brookland Baptist Church
Columbia, South Carolina 
United States
Contact: Saddler Taylor

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Columbia, SC - The University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum will host a music symposium entitled Shared Traditions: Sacred Music in the South on February 26th and February 27th, 2016. The program will feature live performances, a panel session, presentations, and music workshops. All Shared Traditions programs are free and open to the public. The event is co-sponsored by the USC School of Music and Brookland Baptist Church.

Shared Traditions will start with a meet & greet with Gullah storyteller Anita Singleton-Prather at 3:30pm on Friday, February 26th at McKissick Museum on USC’s historic horseshoe. Singleton-Prather, a recipient of the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, is a singer, actress, and the director and producer of Broadway Back In Da' Woods Productions, a full-stage musical theater experience featuring the performance group The Gullah Kinfolk.

Friday evening will also include a presentation at 6:30pm by Dr. Eric Crawford on the topic of African-American spirituals in the South Carolina Sea Islands. Held at Johnson Hall at the Darla Moore School of Business on the USC campus, the talk will lead into a live performance of Circle Unbroken: A Gullah Journey from Africa to America by Anita Singleton-Prather and The Gullah Kinfolk at 7:00pm.  

Brookland Baptist Church in West Columbia will host all program events on Saturday, February 27th. A detailed schedule of events is included below. The day will begin with a panel presentation entitled "Vocal Godliness: Gospel in Black and White” and will feature current research by graduate students from Florida, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Following this session, Dr. Minuette Floyd will present on the topic of the music of the African-American camp meeting.

The keynote speaker, ethnomusicologist Dr. Cynthia Schmidt, will screen the award-winning documentary, The Language You Cry In, which tells the investigative story of discovering the significance of a Gullah song sung in the Mende language of Sierra Leone. Beginning with Dr. Lorenzo Turner’s research in South Carolina in the 1920s, the song becomes more layered in meaning through time on both sides of the Atlantic. Dr. Schmidt will share an update on her research and host a Q&A with the audience.    

Following the keynote address, conference participants will have the opportunity to attend three music workshops focusing on shape-note and hymn-raising traditions. Led by practitioners and choir leaders, these workshops will provide the opportunity to learn about the history of these traditions and the chance to participate in fellowship and song. Saturday’s program will conclude with an evening concert, highlighting the songs and styles learned during the workshops.

For more information, visit or call Saddler Taylor at 803-777-3714. This program is funded in part by the Humanities CouncilSC and the South Carolina Arts Commission.

Shared Traditions: Sacred Music in the South
February 26 and 27, 2016

McKissick Museum, the School of Music, University of South Carolina

and Brookland Baptist Church, West Columbia

Friday, February 26th

4:00 – 4:30pm                                                            McKissick Museum, Second Floor Lobby

Opening remarks by McKissick Executive Director, Jane Przybysz
Welcome from Chief Curator of Folklife and Fieldwork, Saddler Taylor

Artist Meet & Greet – Anita Singleton-Prather

Light Refreshments

4:30 – 5:00pm                                                         McKissick Museum, Diverse Voices Gallery

Curator-led Tour of Heard at Every Turn: Traditional Music in South Carolina

6:30 – 6:50pm                                                                         USC School of Music, Recital Hall

Eric Crawford, Coastal Carolina University
"The African-American Spiritual Tradition in the Sea Islands”

Introduction of Aunt Pearlie Sue and the Gullah Kinfolk

7:00 – 8:30pm                                                                        USC School of Music, Recital Hall

Workshop Performance with Aunt Pearlie Sue and the Gullah Kinfolk

Saturday, February 27th

All events at Brookland Baptist Church, West Columbia

9:00 – 10:30am

Panel Session – "Vocal Godliness: Gospel in Black and White”
(Cory Hunter, Loneka Wilkinson Battiste, Terri Brinegar)

10:45 – 11:30am

Minuette Floyd, University of South Carolina
"The Music of the African-American Camp Meeting”

11:30 – 1:00pm          Break for Lunch

1:00 – 2:15pm

Keynote Address by Dr. Cynthia Schmidt
"The Legacy of Song:
Gullah Tradition and the TransAtlantic Dialogue”

2:30 – 5:15pm

Music Workshops (3 concurrent 45 minute sessions with 10 minute breaks between)
Workshop #1 – Lena Allen Davis and the Community Workshop Choir

Workshop #2 – Pat Johnson and the Springfield Baptist Singing Convention
            Workshop #3 – Labarius Edwards and Deacon Harry Jivers

5:30 – 6:30pm

            Shape-Note Program & Concert

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