St. Alban's believes that arts is a ministry. The Lenten Arts
Program, features local music, plays and art during the five
week period between Lent Ash Wednesday and Easter. The Wednesday
evening begins with a Holy Eucharist Healing service and soup
dinner before each program.
The 2012 program featured Irish Music, an organ concert,
spiritual & gospel music, sculpture and a choir concert,
Wednesday, February 29: An Evening of
Jubilee Singers, Hinds Community College, Utica Campus
Wednesday, March 7: An Evening of Sculpture
Dr. Sam Gore, Sculptor, Mississippi College
Wednesday, March 14: An Evening of
John Maxwell, Playwright &
Wednesday, March 21: An Evening of Irish Music
Sandra Melsheimer and
Bridging the Gap
Wednesday, March 28: An Evening of Choral Music
St. Alban's Church Choir,
Joan Leese, Organist
Singers, Hinds Community College, Utica Campus, will
present An Evening of Spiritual & Gospel Music
on February 29th. The internationally famous group under the direction of Dr. Bobby Cooper follows in the tradition of
the original Jubilee Singers organized in 1925.
On Wednesday, February 29, 7:00 p.m., the internationally
acclaimed Jubilee Singers of Hinds Community College,
Utica Campus, will perform at St. Alban’s Church. The
historic men’s choir is under the direction of Dr. Bobby
Cooper who is celebrating his 40th year of devoted service
to the school.
“This year will mark my 40th year as choir director at
Hinds Community College in Utica, Dr. Cooper commented. “I’m
looking forward to a full season of performances. I’m also
excited about seeing and visiting with many of my former
students who will be returning to share in the yearlong
celebrations.” Dr. Cooper’s reputation as a first rate
choral director is widespread. The students who take part in
the Jubilee Singers demonstrate his skilled leadership with
their outstanding performances.
Dr. Cooper arrived at Utica Community College in 1972 to
teach in the music department. After learning the “musical
background” of the colored institute, he decided to revive
the Utica Institute Jubilee Singers, an organization of
singers that dates back to 1925 and the earliest history of
the Utica Normal and Industrial Institute for the Training
of Colored Young Men and Women.
As early as 1926, the group began making bus tours of the
United States. The money they received for concerts helped
to help support the Utica based school. The singers, whose
style was inspired by the Fisk Jubilee Singers of Nashville,
performed in New York as well as other major cities across
America. Those memorable performances helped to establish
Utica Institute as one of America’s premiere institutions
for the advancement of colored students.
In 1972, after Dr. Cooper joined the Utica College
faculty as music instructor and choir director, he revived
the name, Jubilee Singers, and accepted the challenge of
reestablishing the unique style of singing popular during
the 1920s. “The early singers performed Negro spirituals to
help raise funds for the school during the 40-year Holtzclaw
era,” stated Cooper. “I was so moved by the original group’s
history, dedication and purpose, I felt compelled to revive
the unique quality of the historical plantation-era music.”
To attain the unique quality of the original Jubilee
Singers, Dr. Cooper worked from the original music sheets of
days gone by. Today that unique sound has become the
hallmark signature for the group. In keeping with the
original Jubilee Singers (1925-1926), the talented singers
receive accolades from audiences all across America as well
Prior to the performance a Healing Service will take
place in the nave at
6:00 p.m. followed by a soup dinner in the Parish Hall at
6:30. Come and enjoy the performance and let Dr. Cooper know
how much we appreciate his wonderful work with the young
people for the past 40 years. He is an unsung hero.
Dr. Sam Gore, Mississippi College will present An Evening of
Sculpture on March 7th.
John Maxwell, playwright and actor, will present An Evening of
Drama on March 14th.
keeping with St. Patrick's Day, Sandra Melsheimer
and Bridging the Gap will present an evening of Irish Music.
The St. Alban's
Church Choir under the direction of Joan Leese, Organist,
will present An Evening of Choral Music, on March