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Three Selections from T.J. Anderson's 'Spirituals'

Composer T. J. Anderson completed his choral work Spirituals in 1979. The glee clubs of Spelman and Morehouse colleges perform three selections from that work: "Keep Me from Sinkin' Down," "I Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray" and "This Little Light of Mine."

In 1982, Robert Shaw conducted the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in the first performance at the dedication of Freedom Hall at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for Nonviolent Social Change. For that event, T.J. Anderson wrote:

"All artistic works put together both the spiritual and psychological temper of a historical time and place. Spirituals is a composition which exemplifies this concept. The work is influenced by the music of Henry Purcell, Negro spirituals which I learned from Wendell Whalum, jazz, contemporary styles, and the trumpet of Gabriel... The total work moves in a constant search for an adjustable reality and is a reflection of our fragmented society.

"The six main movements of Spirituals set poetry selected from Robert Hayden's collection Angle of Ascent, using the full performing forces. Interspersed among them are several traditional spirituals set for chorus and orchestra, providing moments of calm and solace between the more violent and emotional stages along the road of discovery."

All text courtesy program notes for 'A King Celebration' from the Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, Ga.

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