The Jubilee Singers

Where did the name come from?

“This is the year of Jubilee; The Lord has come to set us free.” These lyrics are found in a song traced to the year 1863 when slaves in the secessionist states were freed from bondage in this country. The Fisk Jubilee Singers were the first to use this name in 1866. Several other music groups called themselves “Jubilee Singers” before the turn of the century. The word jubilee, found in pre-civil war black church papers, has a traditionally happy, hopeful connotation.

Unitarian Minister Thomas Wentworth Higginson, while serving the Union Army in South Carolina during the civil war became fascinated by the songs of the ex-claves in the regiment he commanded. He later collected these songs, later called spirituals, writing the words and describing the music. Many are reminiscent of spirituals sung by the All Souls Jubilee Singers today.

A Living, Singing History

The All Souls Jubilee Singers were organized in 1977 at the suggestion of Rev. David Eaton. The group made its debut at the Sunday worship service on September 6, 1977, under the direction of its founder, Dr. Ysaye Barnwell. At the time, most of the group’s members were people who had always wanted to sing but had been afraid to try. Since 1977 the group has grown in confidence, in numbers, and in depth of spirit.

To this day, the Jubilee Singers regularly provide music for the worship services at All Souls church, originally only on the first Sunday of each month. The repertoire consisted primarily of traditional negro spirituals and gospels, which provided a particular source of inspiration to the congregation.

The Jubilee Singers have been presented in concert at various churches and other locations around the DC Area and have performed for numerous church-sponsored functions.

1977-1980

Dr. Ysaye Barnwell grew up in New York City, and by the age of 17 had already studied the violin for 15 years Dr. Barnwell studied violin for 15 years beginning at age 2 ½, and majored in music through high school.  With this background, she went on to earn the Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Speech Pathology (SUNY, Geneseo, 1967, 1968), Doctor of Philosophy in Speech Pathology (University of Pittsburgh, 1975), and the Master of Science in Public Health (Howard University, 1981).

In 1979, Dr. Barnwell stepped down as the director of Jubilee Singers to perform and record with the internationally renowned acapella quintet, Sweet Honey in the Rock. Dr. Barnwell appears as a vocalist and/or instrumentalist on more than thirty recordings with Sweet Honey In The Rock as well as other artists.  In her first year with Sweet Honey, she provided leadership in making the group’s concerts accessible to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing through Sign Language interpretation.

Photograph of Dr. Ysaye Barnwell

Dr. Barnwell has been a commissioned composer on numerous choral, film, video, dance and theatrical projects including Sesame Street, Dance Alloy of Pittsburgh, David Rousseve’s Reality Dance Company, The New Spirituals Project, GALA Festival Choruses, MUSE: Cincinnati’s Women’s Chorus, The Steel Festival: Art of an Industry (Bethlehem, PA, The King’s Singers in EnglandIn 1996 she was awarded the Bessie Award for her score Safe House: Still Looking, commissioned by Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. The year 2001 saw the premiere of the work Suite Death, a setting of four poems by Langston Hughes for baritone, choir and orchestra, commissioned by the Plymouth Music Series in Minneapolis, MN. In Feb. 2003, the Choral Arts Society of Washington, DC premiered Truth Pressed to Earth Shall Rise, a choral work, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  She was commissioned by the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra and Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, CT to compose a musical setting for Marilyn Nelson’s epic poem Fortune’s Bones: The Manumission Requiem. This cantata premiered in Waterbury on May 9, 2009 and there have been three performances since. In 2011 Barnwell curated the yearlong FORTUNE’S BONES PROJECT® for the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland which featured public discussions and two performances of the cantata.

In 1998, Dr. Barnwell was awarded the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by her alma mater, SUNY Geneseo.  She received the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the Meadville Lombard Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL (2009) and the Virginia Theological Seminary (2011); and in 2012, all members of Sweet Honey in the Rock, were awarded the Honorary Doctor of Letters Degree from Chicago Theological Seminary (2012).

Visit Dr. Ysaye Barnwell’s website

This is an incomplete list. There is very little documentation from this time, and a committee has been developed to review what few photographs there are to try and face match by those charter members still present at All Souls.

Founder: Dr. Ysaye Barnwell

Altos
Minnie Dyer
Evon Ervin
Sharon Nwosu
Esther Strongman
Sharon Wilkerson
Norma Wilson

Bass
Allison Blakely
Robert Murray

Sopranos
Esther Dickerson
Inez Scope
Luche Summers
Deidre Trent
Gail Whitley

Section Unspecified
Andralia
Benadette Allen
Joan Bardach
Yvonne Chappelle
Betty Cole
Leon Cruise
Delores Eaton
Yao Handy and her husband (name unknown)
Mary Hodo
Kip Thorenson

Rev. David Eaton, Senior Minister

1980-1982

Dr. Robert (Bob) Murray was a physician who under different circumstances might have become a professional musician. Music, especially singing, had been a vital and central part of his life. He began piano lessons at the age of nine and studied intermittently for nine years. He continued playing for the rest of his life. He also studied the trumpet and sang in all-male and mixed choruses as a baritone. In high school, he sang in and directed the Nathaniel Dett quartet, a group that specialized in singing Negro Spirituals. 

At Union College in Schenectady, New York, he sang in the male glee club and chapel choir as the baritone soloist. During medical school at the University of Rochester, he was a member of a medical student barber shop octette called the “Muscletones.” During his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Colorado Medical Center, he sang in the choir of the First Unitarian Church of Denver and in the chorus of the Denver Businessmen’s Symphony.

Photograph of Dr. Robert F, Murray, circa 1980.

Later, he sang in the All Souls Choir for about three years under the direction of Carl Halverson, until he needed to take a hiatus until 1977. When he returned to singing, he became a member of the Jubilee Singers, and had been an active member of the group and the church until he passed away in 2021.

Dr. Robert F. Murray became the Director of Jubilee Singers in November of 1980. Under his leadership, the group had an exciting performance at the 1981 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association in Philadelphia, PA. In February of 1982, under the joint direction of Drs. Murray and Barnwell the Jubilee Singers performed for the first time on the All Souls Concert Series. The program was a celebration and affirmation of Black History through Music.

Bob Murray passed away on January 21, 2022.

Listen to the Jubilee Singers perform as part of the All Souls Concert Series from 1982.

1982-1995

In October of 1982, Ms. Anita Jones was selected as the new director. Each director has brought their own uniqueness to the group and has enhances and expanded its development. Initially the Jubilee Singers sang almost entirely acapella (without instrumental accompaniment). Under Ms. Jones’ direction, further dimension was added, and the group then began singing with piano accompaniment.

Anita Jones is a native of Washington and began her musical career at the age of five, playing for the Sunday School at the Vermont Avenue Baptist Church. By the age of 12, Mrs. Hones was accompanying gospel performing groups throughout the city.

She received her formal training at Trinity College, Washington, DC, completing her B.A. and the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, completing her M.A. She served on faculty of the James Cleveland Gospel Workshop of America and the Sewell Music Conservatory. Mrs. Jones was nationally recognized as an authority on Black Religious Music, instructing at workshops for many years.

In addition to being the Director/Pianist for All Souls Jubilee Singers, Mrs. Jones is a composer, arranger and teacher of voice, piano and theory. She taught in the D.C. Public School system, was organist and choir director for the Chancel Choir at St. Paul AME Church, directed the United Gospel Choir of First Church in Hyattsville, MD, and directed two professional performing groups: the Laura Manley Choral Ensemble and the Anita Jones Singers.

As a performer, Mrs. Jones appeared as a vocalist and an actress in several local theatre productions, including Purlie, Guys and Dolls, and Jesus Christ, Superstar.

Anita Jones passed away on August 26, 2005.

Photograph of Anita Jones

Listen to a concert by the Jubilee Singers from June 3, 1987.

10 Year Anniversary - 1987

Kathie Baker
Minner L. Dyer
Jacqueline M. Fralley
Alberta Henderson
Sharon Fowler Nwosu
Esther Strongman
Sarah Vanderwicken
Joan C. Wallace
Sharon Wilkinson
Norma Smith Wilson
Jacqueline Wurn

Norman H. Fielding
Stephen L. Finner
Steve Grad
Michael (Mike) Honey
Robert F. Murray, Jr.
Winthrop R. Wright

Diane Crothers
Esther Dickerson
Evon Ervin
Madalin Price
Shebbie Rice
Lenz P. Scope
Luche Summers
Deirdre R. Trent
Gail Whitley

Charles D. Gardner
Milton Hawkins
Kevin L. Scott

Rev. David Eaton, STD, Senior Minister
Rev. Duncan Howlett, DD, Minister Emeritus
Harry V. Quiett, Assistant Minister for Administration

Charles S. Gardner, President
Esther Strongman, Vice President
Winthrop R. Wright, Recording Secretary
Shebbie Rice, Corresponding Secretary
Norma Smith Wilson, Treasurer
Minnie L. Dyer, Assistant Treasurer
Inez P. Scope, Business Manager
Madalin Price, Historian
Stephen L. Finner, Librarian
Robert F. Murray, Photographer

Alumni Committee
Inez P Scope, Chairperson
Minnie L. Dyer
Norman H. Fielding
Deirdre R. Trent
Sharon Wilkinson

Music Committee
Anita R. Jones, Chairperson
Ysaye M. Barnwell
Robert F. Murray, Jr.

Reception Committee
Shebbie Rice, Chairperson
Sharon Fowler Nsowu
Esther Strongman
Joan C. Wallace
Gail Whitley
Winthrop R. Wright

Dress Committee
Lucy Summers, Chairperson
Esther Dickerson
Alberta Henderson
Sharon Fowler Nwosu
Shebbie Rice
Deirdre Trent
Norma Smith Wilson

Public Relations Committee
Charles S. Gardner, Chairperson
Evon Ervin
Alberta Henderson
Madalin Price
Sarah Vanderwicken
Sharon Wilkinson

Souvenir Journal Committee
Norma Smith Wilson, Chairperson
Norman H. Fielding
Stephen L. Finner
Sharon Fowler Nwosu
Shebbie Rice
Inez P. Scope
Kevin Scott
Lucy Summers

Opening Remarks

The Early Years (directed by Dr. Ysaye Barnwell)
Somagwaza, traditional South African song
Hush, Somebody’s Callin’ My Name, trad. arr. Ysaye Barnwell
Balm in Gilead, trad. arr. Ysaye Barnwell
Rock A My Soul, trad. arr. Ysaye Barnwell
Spiritual Medley: Wade in the Water, I Want To Die Easy When I Die, Sometimes I Feel Like a Moatherless Chil’, arr. Ysaye Barnwell
On Children, words by Khalil Gibran, arr. Ysaye Barnwell
Breaths, words by Birago Diop, arr. Ysaye Barnwell
The Storm Is Passin’ Over, words and music by Chales A. Tindley
Feel Like Goin’ On, words by Andre S. Woods, music by E.D. Bell-Stokes, arr. Ysaye Barnwell
God Is, words and music by Robert J. Fryson, soloist Ysaye Barnwell, accompanies by Marvin Mills

Intermission

The Middle Years (directed by Dr. Robert Murray, Jr.)
Jubilee, words and music by Robert Murray, Jr.
Bless the Lord, Andre Crouch
Steal Away, trad. arr. Ysaye Barnwell
Lord I’ve Tried, Rev. W. Brewster, D.D., arr. Keneth Morris, soloists Alberta Henderson and Norma Smith Wilson
When I Was Sinkin’ Down, trad. arr. Jester Hairston
Heaven is 10 Zillion Light Years Away, words and music by Stevie Wonder, arr. Ysaye Barnwell, soloist Kevin L. Scott
Roll Jordon Roll, James Cleveland arr. Ysaye Barnwell
No Ways Tired, James Cleveland, arr. Ysaye Barnwell

Presentation of Proclamation from DC Mayor Marion S. Barry
Presentation of Resolution from District of Columbia City Council

Intermission

The Current Years (directed by Ms. Anita R. Jones)
When The Battle Is Over, words and music by Walter Hawkins, soloist Kevin L. Scott
We Shall Behold Him, words and music by Dottie Rambo, soloist Anita Jones
Precious Lord, Thomas Dorsey, soloist Robert Murray, Jr.
Lord, I Know I’ve Been Changed, arr. Richard Smallwood, soloist Anita Jones
I Know the Man, Cagriel Hardeman, Jr.
Medley: For God So Loved the World, Jesus Christ is the Way, Grant Me A Blessing, I Love the Lord, My Soul is Satisfied, When God Dips His Love In My Heart
Lift Every Voice and Sing

Finale
I Am Determined To Walk With Jesus, unknown
Sing Til’ The Power Of The Lord Come Down, trad. arr. Ysaye Barnwell

The Jubilee Singers 10th Anniversary Choir members posed together in front of the pulpit.

The members of the Jubilee Singers around the time of the 10th Anniversary.

Jubilee Singers circa 1980s-1990s

1996-2022

Lenard Starks began directing the All Souls Jubilee Singers in January of 1996. He is from Sacramento, California, where his study of music began with the clarinet at the age of nine. He played that instrument for eighteen years. During high school, he played in the Northern California Junior Symphony.

As a mathematics major minoring in music at California State University in Sacramento, Lenard participated as first clarinetist with several SCUS performing groups including the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, and Opera Orchestra. He participated in the CSUS Stage Band as an arranger and woodwind player. While on active military duty in the U.S. Army Security Agency, Lenard served as Bandmaster for two years. In that capacity he was responsible for selecting repertoire, rehearsing, and conducing a 50-piece band in concerts, ceremonies, and parades at Fort Devens, Massachusetts and in cities and communities throughout the New England area.

Lenard’s interest and work with choral music intensified as he sand for two years in the Concert Choir at Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland. For eleven years, Lenard participated as a singer in the 80-voice Maryland Choral Society. With that group he also served as assistant to two successive artistic directors, Dr. Craig Jessop and Dr. Samuel Gorden. Lenard also participated in the preparation and performance of several special African American choral music events conducted by Jester Hairston, Roland Carter, and Evelyn Simpson-Curenton.

20th Anniversary - 1997

Lorie Allion
Rose Ashcraft
Kathie Baker
Paula Church
Carmelita R. Carter
Nancy Nickell Franklin
Jennifer Keller
Lydia Mosher
Esther Strongman
Carol Carter Walker
Norma Smith Wilson

Stephen Finner
William Huyck
Robert Murray, Jr.

Mary Ann Anderson
Carol Collins
Esther Dickerson
Eileen Findlay
Vanessa Landau
Inez Scope
Lauren Simpson
Lucy Summers
Gail Whitley

Charles Gardner
Kent Klindera
Sue Shoenberg
Douglas Sloane
Raciel Suarez
Herbert Woods

Rev. David Aldridge, Jr., Senior Minister
Rev, Duncan Howlett, Senior Minister Emeritus
Lenard Starks, Director

Let Every Voice Sing

Prelude. African Drumming and Solo Wind Instrument

Chalice Lighting & Opening Words

Part I. African & Early American Roots
Prelude, African Drumming
Central African Chant, arr. By Ysaye Barnwell
Kum Ba Yah, arr. By Ysaye Barnwell
Good Time, arr. By Ysaye Barnwell, Normal Wilson – vocal lead
Freedom Is Coming, Traditional South African freedom song
Woyaya, arr. P. Gnesin

Welcome & Greetings
Proclamations

Part II.
Sustaining Spirituals and Historic Gospel
Soon-Ah Will Be Done, arr. William Dawson
Ezekiel Saw de Wheel, arr. William Dawson, interpretive dance by Marjani Dele & Guyann Tolliver
In Dat Great Gittin’ Up Mornin’, arr. Wiliam Dawson, Robert Murray – vocal lead
Lord I’ve Tried, words & music by Rev. William Brewster, arr. Kenneth Morris, Lucy Summers & Norma Wilson, vocal leads
When God Dips His Love In My Heart, Cleavant Derricks
Highway to Heaven, Thomas A. Dorsey, Lucy Summers – vocal lead

Intermission

Part III.
Music of Social Change & Contemporary Life
Medley from the Civil Rights Movement (Traditional)
Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ‘Round/Lift Every Voice and Sing (verse 1)
Come Sunday, Duke Ellington, Beverly Holton – soloist
Walk Him Up The Stairs, lyrics by Gary Geld, music by Peter Udell, arr. Robert Murray
Rejoice/Come On In This House, music by Kenneth Louis & Richard Smallwood, arr. Anita Jones
Something About Believing, Duke Ellington
Stand, Donnie McClurkin, Esther Dickerson – vocal lead
Holy, Holy, Holy, arr. Donnie McClurkin, Beverly Holton – soloist
Worthy To Be Praised, Byron Smith, Esther Strongman & Eileen Findlay – vocal leads

Part IV. Finale
Just A Little Talk With Jesus
God Is Still On The Throne

Closing Remarks & Benediction

Cover of the Jubilee Singers 20th Anniversary Concert booklet. The theme was: Let Every Voice Sing

25th Anniversary - 2002

Kathie Baker
Suzette Beard
Jennifer Cook
Margaret Hoven
Jennifer Loss
Kim Mason
Lydia Moser
Lorraine Starks
Esther Strongman
Sarah Tate
Jenice View
Kim Vitelli

Tony Dalsimer
Christopher Damrosch
Stephen Finner
David Jackson
William Kules
Robert Murray, Jr.
David Wiley

Mary Ann Anderson
Elizabeth Andrews
Paula Church
Christina Fleps
Gail Perry
Shebbie Rice
Laura Sailer
Judith Smith
Lucy Summers
Allison Weiss

Alan Johnson
Carol Minder
Delabian Rice-Thurston
Peter Sailer
Wells Wulsin

John Strang, Organ
David Jackson, Electric Bass
Rickey Payton, piano
Lenard Starks, piano
Suzette Beard, guitar
Margaret Hoven, guitar
LaMont Mitchell, percussion
Miles Spicer, percussion
James Hicks, percussion

Saundra Asante
Anne Casey Bryant
Maia Comeau
Vanessa Landau
Molly Moore

Rev. Dr. Robert Hardies, Senior Minister
Lenard Starks, Director

Gail Perry, General Coordinator
Mary Ann Anderson, Assistant General Coordinator
Alan Johnson, Finance Coordinator
Sarah Tate, Outreach Coordinator
Kim Mason, Public Relations Coordinator
Sarah Tate, Ushering Coordinator
Box Office Coordinators: Holly Reckord, Denise Anderson, Allison Weiss
Margaret Albamonte, Reception Coordinator
Christiane Geisler, Photographer
Internal Publicity Committee: David Wiley, Lydia Mosher, Bill Kules
Print Committee: Judith Smith, Bill Kules, Lenard Starks
Program Committee: Elizabeth Andrews, Christina Fleps, Lydia Moser, Lenard Starks

Prelude
Deep River, John Strang – organist, African American Spiritual
God’s Gonna Buil’ Up Zion’s Wall, Jester Hairston

Welcome

Part 1 – Freedom is Coming
Espiritu De Vida, Carolun McDad, translation by Raciel Suarez-Findlay, Laura Sailer – soloist
I’m Going To Sing ‘Til The Spirit Moves In My Heart, Moses Hogan, Maia Comeau – dance choreographer
Ibo Lesson, Ysaye Barnwell
Freedom Is Coming, South African folk song

Part 2 – I Wonder What Will Happen To This World
Striving After God, music by Undine Smith Moore, Text by Michaelangelo
Spiritual, Ysaye Barnwell
Lord, I Don’t Feel No Ways Tired, arr. Phillip McIntyre, Robert Murray and Shebbie Rice – soloists
I Wonder What Will Happen To This World, Harry Chapin, arr. Lenard Starks, Elizabeth Andrews – soloist
Turn The World Around, Harry Belafonte and Roberts Freedman, arr. Larry Farrow, Maia Comeau – dance choreographer
People Get Ready, Curtis Mayfield, arr. Lenard Starks, Paula Church – soloist

Intermission

Part 3 – Let Us Rise In Love
Over My Head, trad. arr. Lenard Starks
Singing with audience involvement, Ysaye Barnwell – soloist

Part 4 – Faithful Over A Few Things
In The Beginning God, Duke Ellington, arr. Lenard Starks
Worthy To Be Praised, Byron Smith, Esther Strongman and Paula Church – soloists
River in Judea, music by Jack Feldman, words by Linda Marcus, Suzette Bear and William Kules – soloists
Faithful Over A Few Things, Glenn Burleigh, Frances Brooks – guest soloist

Finale – Life Every Voice and Sing
Lift Every Voice and Sing, James Weldon Johnson and J. Rosamond Johnson, arr. Roland Carter

Cover of the Jubilee Singers 25th Anniversary Concert program. The theme was: There’s Music in the Air!

30th Anniversary - 2007

Shirley Blakely
Evelyn Chester
Carol Falk
Lianne Hepler
Jennifer Loss
Dawn McCleskey
Betsy Rosso
Laura Sailer
Mary Shapiro
Lorraine Starks
Esther Strongman
Jenice View
Kim Vitelli

Christopher Damrosch
G. Taylor Johnson
Gerald Kamens
Matt McCleskey
Robert Murray
Warren Rosenthal
Vincent Snowadzky

Mary Ann Anderson
Elizabeth Andrews
Elizabeth Bukey
Paula Church
Sharon Cooke
Maia Dedrick
Joan Dine
Christina Fleps
Krista Harrison
Nancy Kamens
Janiece Kent
Sharmila Khare
Gail Perry
Shebbie Rice
Nicole Rumeau
Judith Smith
Lucy Summers
Taryn Wilgus Null

Jeremy Gwinner
Alan Johnson
Hai Nguyen
David Reynolds
Delabian Rice-Thurston
Sue Shoenberg
Elizabeth Sutherland
Benjamin Zitelli

Al Davis, piano
Maia Dedrick, cello
Louise Hill, flute
Janiece Kent, piano
Jeff Neal, percussion
David Reynolds, piano
Carol Spring, violin
Ken Stilwell, oboe
John Strang, organ
Thomas View, bass guitar

Rev. Rob Hardies, Senior Minister
Rev. Shana Lynngood, Associate Minister
Lenard Starks, Director
John Strang, Director of Music

Shebbie Rice, coordinator
Elizabeth Andrews
Evelyn Chester
Paula Church
Sharon Cooke
Christina Fleps
G. Taylor Johnson
Warren Rosenthal
Judith Smith
Lenard Starks
Lucy Summers
Jenice View

Prelude

Welcome and Chalice Lighting

Part 1 – directed by Lenard Starks
Lord We Give Thanks To Thee, Undine Moore
Elijah Rock, arr. Moses Hogan
In Dat Great Gittin’ Up Morning, arr. Jester Hairston, Robert Murray – baritone
Crossings, by Ysaye Barnwell, includes: Uptown Overture, No Mirrors in My Nana’s House, Lost In Blue, When I Die (Janice Kent – soprano, Matt McClesky – bass), Wanting Memories
Let Us Rise in Love, Ysaye Barnwell, Dawn Pointer McClesky – alto

Intermission

Part 2 – directed by special guest Dr. Ysaye Barnwell
I Wonder What Would Happen To This World, H. Chapin, Elzabeth Andrews – soprano
‘Til The Walls Come Down, Lon Berry, Matt McClesky – bass and Paula Church – soprano
Make Them Hear You, by Steve Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens
For Every Mountain, by Kurt Karr, Nicole Rumeau – soprano
Faithful Over a Few Things, by Glenn Burleigh, Nancy Kamens – soprano
Order My Steps, by Glenn Burleigh, Orieyama Linebarger – guest soprano soloist
Total Praise, Richard Smallwood

Closing Remarks

Photograph of the Jubilee Singers choir from the 30th Anniversary.

The Jubilee Singers in 2007. The theme for the 30th Anniversary Concert was: 30 years of soulful singing!

Click the video above to hear audio from the Jubilee Singers 30th Anniversary Concert from November 10, 2007 in the All Souls Sanctuary.

2012 - Today: Bokamoso Youth Choir & Jubilee Singers

The Bokomoso Youth Choir performing in the All Souls Sanctuary in 2019

The picture above is the Bokamoso Youth Choir performing in the Sanctuary on a Sunday during their visit to the US in 2019.

Watch our virtual worship service celebrating with the Bokamoso Youth, when COVID-19 kept us apart, we found a way to come together.

The Bokamoso Youth Foundation is a charitable organization located in Washington, DC. that provides financial support, mentoring, and guidance to the staff and young people of the Bokamoso Life Centre in Winterveldt, South Africa.

The Bokamoso Life Centre is an independent registered Non-Profit Organization (NPO) in Winterveldt South Africa. The Centre provides educational and social service to young men and women ages 17-25 living in the Winterveldt area. The Centre is a safe haven that offers opportunities for the youth to attend classes, receive counseling, use the computers, practice music, dance and drama, and receive nutritious meals.

Together, the Foundation and the Centre form a successful partnership that has helped more than 1,300 youth graduate from Bokamoso’s Youth Development Program; provided some 270 youth the opportunity to visit the United States through the Bokamoso Cultural Exchange and Performing Arts Program; and awarded more than 400 scholarships benefiting some 235 Winterveldt youth who otherwise would not have had the chance for post-secondary education and vocational training. 

Since 2012, All Souls Church has been one of the locations throughout the United States to host the Bokamoso Cultural Exchange and Performing Arts Program. Each year, from early January to mid-February, youth from the Bokamoso Youth Centre come to the Washington, D.C. area as part of the Cultural Exchange and Performing Arts Program. The Bokamoso Youth have traveled to the United States for Martin Luther King Day to sing with the Jubilee Singers and the Children’s Choirs in honor of Rev. King and in acknowledgement of the common struggles we share.

Processional from February 12, 2013. Bokamoso Youth with the Jubilee Singers and All Souls Childrens Choir. Video by David Holiday.

January 17th, 2016, Bokamoso Youth Choir joined the Jubilee Singers and Children’s Choirs to sing “Honesty” with the song’s originator, Andrew Callard, at All Souls. Andrew had recorded the song with Bokamoso Youth Choir in June of 2015 in Winterveldt, South Africa. Video posted by Andrew Callard.

35th Anniversary - 2012

Maggie Anderson
Shirley Blakely
Dianne Davenport
Carol Falk
Lois Hanshaw
Mary Beth Hatem
Sally Madsen
Suzie Kline Massey
Lydia Mosher
Delabian Rice-Thurston
A. Tianna Scozzaro
Terri Shaw
Chandler Sherman
Lorraine Starks
Esther Strongman
Mary Taylor
Jenice View
Stephanie Williams

Allison Blakely
Aaron Dibner-Dunlap
Darrick Jackson
Gerald Kamens
Charles Lord
Robert Murray
Corey Null
Warren Rosenthal
Craig Roshaven
David Wiley

Sharon Barry
Fiona Brideoake
Sharon Cooke
Molly Graham
Swanza Harris
Janeice Kent
Georgia King
Kimberly Lovell
Erin McCarthy
Allyn Moushey
Dori Phelps
Shebbie Rice
Jamie Roberts
Nicole Rumeau
Michael Sheridan
Judith Smith
Luche Summers
Ann Watters
Taryn Wilgus Null

Alan Johnson
Peter Le Poole
Trudy Mitchell-Gilkey
Norah Quinn
Sue Shoenberg
Ann Thompson
Ben Zitelli

Corey Null, bassist
Scot Hanna-Weir, pianist
Gordon Kent, pianist
Michael Verner, percussionist
Rickey Payton, Jr., percussionist

Rev. Rob Hardies, Senior Minister
Rev. Susan Newman-Moore, Associate Minister
Abbey Tennis, Intern Minister
Lenard Starks, Director Jubilee Singers
Scot Hanna-Weird, Director All Souls Choir
Thomas Colohan, Music Director

Carol Falk
Alan Johnson
Charles Lord
Erin McCarthy
Lydia Mosher
Corey Null
Dori Phelps
Nicole Numeau
Michael Sheridan
Judy Smith
Lenard Starks
Esther Strongman
Taryn Wilgus Null
Ben Zitelli

Prelude
Chalice Lighting
Welcome
Introductions

The All Souls Jubilee Singers – Lenard Starks, director
The Battle of Jerico, Moses Hogan
Deep River, arr. Larry Farrow, Shebbie Rice – soprano
If I Can Help Somebody, arr. Nathan Carter, Erin McCarthy and Nicole Rumeau – sopranos
God’s Gonna Buil’ Up Zion’s Wall, Jester Hairston
Baba Yetu, Christopher Tin, Esther Strongman – alto and Ben Zitelli – tenor
I Will Sing Praises, Richard Smallwood
Precious Memories, J.B.F. Wright and Lonnie Combs, Taryn Wilgus-Null and Swanza Harris – sopranos
Faithful Over a Few Things, Glenn Burleigh, Nicole Rimeau – soprano, Robert Murray – director

The Urban Nation H.I.P.-H.O.P. Choir of the District of Columbia – Rickey Payton Sr., Artistic Director

Selections

The Combined Choirs
No Mirrors, Ysaye Barnwell
Wating Memories, Ysaye Barnwell
Can’t Give Up Now, Mary Mary, leads: Erin McCarthy, Nicole Rumeau, Dawn Pointer-McClesy, Trudy Mitchell-Gilkey

The Vocal Community – Dr. Ysaye Barnwell, founder

The All Souls Jubilee Singers
Wings to Fly, Ysaye Barnwell, Nicole Rumeau – soprano

Closing Words
Extinguishing the Chalice

Jubilee Singers 35th Anniversary Program Cover: 35 Years of Spirited Singing

The cover of the 35th Anniversary Concert Program. The theme was 35 years of Spirited Singing!

40th Anniversary - 2017

Roberta Abel
Shirley Blakely
Eliza Carney
Jessica Chau
Carol Falk
Mary Beth Hatem
Christina Mercurio
Delabian Rice-Thurston
A. Tianna Scozzaro
Terri Shaw
Lorraine Starks
Esther Strongman
Stephanie Williams
Shari Willis
Rebecca Winter
Tracy Zorpette

Andres Almeida
Tom Baker
Allison Blakely
Darrick Jackson
Fred Katz
David MacMillan
Robert Murray
David Naden
Hai Nguyen
Corey Null

Kate Aizpuru
Sharon Barry
Linda Bidlack
Linnea Champ
Maxine Clair
Mary Eveleighem
Molly Graham
Kathleen Grathwol
Sydney Hall
Judy Hogan
Dori Phelps
Jennifer Renteria
Shebbie Rice
Trisha Ripley
Nicole Rumeau
Priya Saha
Michael Sheridan
Luche
Summers
Ann Watters
Taryn Wilgus Null
Rebecca Willis

Vasu Abhiraman
Roy Barber
Robert Jayes
Alan Johnson
Joel Respress
Tim Rhodes

Jenna Cameron, flute
Halley Shoenberg, clarinet and alto sax
Kristin Chamberlin, french horn
Gerald Jones, trumpet
Michael Dranove, trombone
David Cole, guitar
Corey Null, bass
Gordon Kent, piano
Glenn Pearson, piano
Art Cobb, percussion

Rev. Rob Hardies, Senior Minister
Rev. Susan Newman-Moore, Associate Minister
Lenard Starks, Director Jubilee Singers
Jen Hayman, Director of Music & Arts

Bob Jayes and Dave Wiley, general event coordination
Carol Falk, Darrick Jackson, and Warren Rosenthal, librarians
Rebecca Willis and Darrick Jackson, reception arrangements
Judith Horan and Jennifer Renteria, graphic design and print materials
Stephanie Williams, publicity
Fred Katz, sound coordination
Esther Strongman, alumni coordinator

Welcome

Part 1
Ride the Chariot, arr. William H. Smith, Ann Watters – soprano soloist
Rock-a My Souls, arr. Howard Roberts, Tim Rhodes – tenor soloist
In His Care-o, William Dawson
The Battle of Jericho, arr. Moses Hogan
Spiritual, Ysaye Barnwell

Part 2
Introduction of special guest and Jubilee Singers founder, Ysaye Barnwell

Part 3
Lift Every Voice and Sing, Jame Weldon Johnson and J. Rosamond Johnson, arr. Roland Carter
This River, Ja Jahannes and Uzee Brown, arr. Lenard Starks, Tim Rhodes and Ann Watters – soloists
The Last Words of David, Randall Thompson

Part 4
Offering – Robert Jayes, Jubilee Singers President

In a Sentimental Mood, Duke Ellington, David Cole – guitar

Expressions – Jen Hayman, Director of Music & Arts

Part 5
Catch on Fire, traditional gospel, Vasu Abhiraman – soloist
Move Mountain, Margaret Mouroux, Esther Strongman – soloist
Something Inside So Strong, Labi Siffre, Roy Barber and Taryn Wilgus-Null – soloists
Break Every Chain, Will Reagan, Vasu Abhiraman and Dawn Pointer-McClesky – soloists
Stand, Donnie McClurkin, Taryn Wilgus-Null – soloist
Like a Tree, Margaret Douroux
Can’t Give Up Now, Mary Mary, Stephanie Williams and Ann Watters – soloists
Faithful Over a Few Things, Glenn Burleigh

The cover of the Jubilee Singers 40th Anniversary Program: The Power of Song!

Cover of the Jubilee Singers 40th Anniversary Concert program. The theme was: The Power of Song!

2019 to 2022 - Making Music During a Pandemic

The novel human coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was first reported in Wuhan, China, in 2019, and subsequently spread globally to become the fifth documented pandemic since the 1918 flu pandemic.

By September 2021, almost two years after COVID-19 was first identified, there had been more than 200 million confirmed cases and over 4.6 million lives lost to the disease. At the time, pharmaceutical companies were frantically working to develop a vaccination for the illness, and researchers were beginning to look into the long term ramifications on the human body. While this was happening, masks were mandated across the country (becoming a political quagmire of its own in the United States. While many Americans followed public health recommendations and wore masks in public to limit the spread of Covid-19, others passionately fought against them, saying they impaired individual freedom). Many nonessential businesses and buildings closed in March of 2019 and the world became virtual overnight.

All Souls closed as well, providing all worship services virtually on the virtual meeting platform Zoom and held no events or meetings with the congregation in the building until Homecoming September of 2022. Singing together was against CDC guidelines at this time, so the music department looked to virtual platforms to bring together the musicians for worship, community building, and solace during such a devastating time.
Thankfully, the technology of this time was advanced enough to allow this to happen. The Jubilee Singers began meeting on Zoom during their weekly rehearsal time, coming together to support one another and to make music. Individual performers recorded their portions from their own homes and sent them in to the All Souls staff to be edited together to create virtual choirs. Audio portions were timed together to blend as seamlessly as possible and balanced for playing in a virtual service.

When government restrictions began to loosen, the choirs would meet outside and practice together while socially distanced and masked. Recordings of the choir together were shared with the still virtual congregation. It would not be until summer of 2022 that choirs would be allowed to rehearse again in the Sanctuary of All Souls. 

Waters of March by Antonio Carlos Jobim All Souls Jubilee Singers

Expect a Miracle by the Clark Sisters All Souls Jubilee Singers; Nicole Rumeau, vocal lead

45th Anniversary - 2022

Shirley Blakely
Eliza Carney
Pamela Coukos
Carol Falk
Mary Beth Hatem
Delabian Rice-Thurston
Lorraine Starks
Esther Strongman
Rebecca Winter

Allison Blakely
Darrick Jackson
Taylor Johnson
Corey Null
Thurman Rhodes
David Wiley

Paula Albertson
Sharon Barry
Molly Graham
Judith Hogan
Barbara McCann
Shebbie Rice
Nicole Rumeau
Luche Summers
Ann Watters
Taryn Wilgus Null

Roy Barber
Robert Jayes
Alan Johnson
Laura Sailer
Gabriella Siegfried
Benjamin Zitelli

Sopranos
Linda Bidlack, Esther Dickerson, Christina Fleps, Julia Hustwit, Sharmila Khare, Starr Kopper, Melanie Stegman, Eileen Suarez-Findlay, Allison Weiss, Elizabeth Zitelli

Altos
Maggie Anderson, Evon Ervin, Jennifer Keller, Catherine Kozub, Lydia Mosher, Gabriel Minc, Catherine Owens, Rahima Rice, Pamela Spratlen, Jenice View, Gail Whitley

Tenors
Terri Shaw

Basses
David Jackson, Fred Katz, William Kules, Kenneth Mifflin, David Naden

Amy Zimmermann, piano
Dr. Rickey Payton, Sr., piano
David Cole, guitar
Corey Null, bass
Fred Katz, percussion

Rev. Bill Sinkford, Transitional Minister
Rev. Louise Green, Minister of Congregational Care
Rev. Rob Keithan, Minister of Social Justice
Lenard Starks, Director Jubilee Singers
Jennifer Hayman, Director of Music & Arts
Rochelle Rice, Associate Director of Music & Arts

Elizabeth Andrews Zitelli, General Coordination
Judy Hogan, Print Media Design
Luche Summers, Hospitality Liaison
Darrick Jackson, Decorations
Julia Washburn, Pre-Concert Meal Coordinator
Jen Hayman, Reception & General Support
Shebbie Rice, Content Consultant
Esther Strongman, Content Consultant
Robert Jayes, Content Consultant & Alumni POC
Ann Watters, AV Liaison & Alumni POC
Carol Falk, Alumni POC
Gabriella Siegfried, Alumni POC
Delabian Thurston-Rice, Alumni POC
Benjamin Zitelli, Alumni POC
Bill Rice, Transportation
Amanda Cornaglia, AV & Livestream Technician
Mark Matthews & Emily Koechlin, Lead Ushers
Rev. Rob Keithan, Spiritual Nourishment
Joanne Blanco, Printing & Facilities
Rose Eaton, Communications & Publicity
Gary Penn, Ticket Management

I
“Ride the Chariot” Arr. William Henry Smith
Ann Watters, Soprano solo

“Ezekiel Saw de Wheel” Arr. Willian Levi Dawson
Ben Zitelli, tenor

“The Battle of Jericho” Arr. Moses Hogan

“Striving After God” Undine Smith Moore

“Rise, Shine for the Light Is A’Coming” Arr. Roland Carter
Nicole Rumeau, soprano

II
“Come Sunday” Duke Ellington
Thurman “Tim” Rhodes, solo

“Pie Jesu” Andrew Lloyd Webber
Nicole Rumeau & Shebbie Rice, duet

“I’ve been ‘buked” Arr. Hall Johnson

“Let Us Rise In Love” Ysaye M. Barnwell
Taryn Wilgus Null, soprano

III
“The Negro Speaks of Rivers” Margaret Bonds
Lyrics by Langston Hughes

“Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor” Irving Berlin
Lyrics by Emma Lazarus

“I Hear America Singing” André J. Thomas

“Something Inside So Strong” Labi Siffre
Roy Barber, tenor

“Faith” Richard Smallwood
Robert Jayes, tenor

“For Every Mountain” Kurt Carr
Nicole Rumeau, soprano

IV
“God’s Gonna Buil’ Up Zion’s Wall Arr. Jester Hairston and
Harry Wilson

“Faithful Over a Few Things” Glenn Burleigh
Matthew 25:21 & Revelation 2:10
“Total Praise” Richard Smallwood

“Can’t Give Up Now” Mary Mary
Ann Watters & Nicole Rumeau, solos

“Lift Every Voice and Sing” J. Rosamond Joihnson
Lyrics by James Weldon Johnson
Arr. Roland M. Carter

Closing Remarks
“September” Maurice White, Al McKay & Allee Willis
Gabriella Siegfried, tenor

Jubilee Singers 45th Anniversary Concert Program Cover. Songs of Freedom, Love, & Justice

Cover of the Jubilee Singers 45th Anniversary Concert program. The theme was: Songs of Freedom, Love & Justice.

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