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All Men Are Beggars

Unorchestrated

Release Date: 01/28/2021

There's a Stirrin' in the Water show art There's a Stirrin' in the Water

Unorchestrated

In the final episode of our series on the Akron Symphony Chorus, we sit down with Chorus Director Chris Albanese and special guests Chuck Myricks Jr. and Jesse Ayers about There’s a Stirrin’ in the Water, which they co-composed in 2016. The episode includes selections of There’s a Stirrin’ in the Water from the November 2016 performance by the Akron Symphony Orchestra and Akron Symphony Chorus, as well as a performance by the Akron Symphony Chorus in May 2021 from the parking lot of the First United Methodist Church in Akron. As a pioneering participant in Akron’s Gospel Meets...

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Music of the Sacred Harp show art Music of the Sacred Harp

Unorchestrated

In the third episode of our four-part series on the Akron Symphony Chorus, we sit down with Chorus Director Chris Albanese and special guest Moira Smiley to discuss chorus music in the tradition of the Sacred Harp.

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The Creation show art The Creation

Unorchestrated

In the second episode of our four-part series on the Akron Symphony Chorus, we sit down with Chorus Director Chris Albanese, Music Director Christopher Wilkins and special guest Betsy Burleigh to discuss Haydn’s towering masterpiece, The Creation. The episode includes selections of The Creation by the Akron Symphony Orchestra and Akron Symphony Chorus, featuring guest artists Joyce Guyer, soprano, Karl Dent, tenor, and Timothy Jones, bass-baritone from April 2008; along with the Akron Symphony Chorus’ recording from May 2021 in the parking lot of the First United Methodist...

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Awakenings show art Awakenings

Unorchestrated

In the first episode of a four-part series on the Akron Symphony Chorus, we sit down with Chorus Director Chris Albanese and Steven Savanyu of Buford T. Hedgehog Productions to talk about a special recording project by the chorus in the parking lot of the First United Methodist Church in Akron. Chris and Steve share stories about the recording project, how the chorus coped with a year of virtual recordings, and the music they performed for the project. The episode opens and closes with a short sampling of the Akron Symphony Chorus performing Haydn’s Awake the Harp. In addition to leading the...

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Pass Me Not: A Visit with Jennifer Mekel Jones show art Pass Me Not: A Visit with Jennifer Mekel Jones

Unorchestrated

In the sixth episode of Deep River: The Legacy of the Spirituals, we speak with Jennifer Mekel Jones, who served for a decade as Choirmaster of the ASO’s Gospel Meets Symphony. She is a composer, singer, songwriter, recording artist, ordained minister, and a central figure in the musical life of the region.  In this episode, Jennifer tells stories about her deeply musical family, beginning with the formative years learning from her mother, Esterline Jones, who played a pivotal role in the earliest years of Gospel Meets Symphony. She also...

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We’re Marching to Zion: A Visit with Dr. Raymond Wise  show art We’re Marching to Zion: A Visit with Dr. Raymond Wise 

Unorchestrated

In the fifth episode of Deep River: The Legacy of the Spirituals, we are joined by Dr. Raymond Wise for a discussion about the development of spirituals and their influence on his own creative career. The episode, We’re Marching to Zion: A Visit with Dr. Raymond Wise, includes two performances from his acclaimed recording 21 Spirituals for the 21st Century featuring the Raise Chorale: We’re Marching to Zion and I’ll Stand. is the Professor of Practice of African American and African Diaspora Studies and Director of the African American Choral Ensemble at Indiana...

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Nathaniel Dett’s Legacy: The Chariot Jubilee  show art Nathaniel Dett’s Legacy: The Chariot Jubilee

Unorchestrated

In the fourth episode of Deep River: The Legacy of the Spirituals, Jonathon Turner, the ASO’s Gospel Meets Symphony Choirmaster, and Brenda Justice, Coordinator of Choral Programs, join co-hosts Christopher and Tom to discuss , a composer, choir leader, pianist, teacher, poet, writer, and seminal figure in bringing spirituals to a classical setting. The episode concludes with a performance of Dett’s The Chariot Jubilee by the Akron Symphony Orchestra, Akron Symphony Chorus and tenor Kennedy Jones from November 18, 2016. (Photo by R. Nathaniel Dett Collection - Sibley...

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Old Time Religion - The Spirituals Meet the Symphony show art Old Time Religion - The Spirituals Meet the Symphony

Unorchestrated

In the third episode of Deep River: The Legacy of the Spirituals, Jonathon Turner, the ASO’s Gospel Meets Symphony Choirmaster, and Brenda Justice, Coordinator of Choral Programs, join co-hosts Christopher and Tom for a listening session. The episode includes the following recordings from the orchestra’s Classics series, Gospel Meets Symphony, and a world premiere from the ASO’s 2020–21 Interlude season: Morton Gould Gospel Train; Old Time Religion (November 18, 2016) William Grant Still Jesus is a Rock; What a Morning  (April, 2021) William...

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Get on Board- The Great Early Performers show art Get on Board- The Great Early Performers

Unorchestrated

In the second episode of Deep River: The Legacy of the Spirituals, Jonathon Turner, the ASO’s Gospel Meets Symphony Choirmaster, and Brenda Justice, Coordinator of Choral Programs, join co-hosts Christopher and Tom to discuss influential performers of the spirituals as they were first becoming known to the general public. Especially noteworthy is Harry T. Burleigh’s influence on Dvořák, including his significant musical contribution to the New World Symphony. The episode opens with an excerpt from Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel, arranged by...

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Crossing to Freedom: The Spirituals Emerge show art Crossing to Freedom: The Spirituals Emerge

Unorchestrated

Deep River: The Legacy of the Spirituals—a multi-episode series—debuts on the Akron Symphony's Unorchestrated podcast with Crossing to Freedom: The Spirituals Emerge.  Jonathon Turner, the ASO's Gospel Meets Symphony Choirmaster, and Brenda Justice, Coordinator of Choral Programs, join co-hosts Christopher and Tom to discuss the importance of the Negro Spiritual in American history, with a focus on the seminal contributions of the Fisk Jubilee Singers. The episode opens with an excerpt from Elijah Rock, arranged by Moses Hogan, performed by the Gospel Meets...

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More Episodes

In Episode 11 of Unorchestrated, Christopher and Tom talk with poet Rita Dove about Billy Waters, a marginalized street musician of African descent who, despite all odds, rose to great prominence in 19th century London, with readings from her book, Sonata Mulattica.

This is the 11th episode in our 14-part series, Sonata Mulattica with Rita Dove.

The episode closes with an excerpt from Clint Needham's Sounds of Akron, which incorporates sounds sent in by scores of Akron residents, and a performance of Amazing Grace by Celeste Hicks, a member of the Gospel Meets Symphony Choir. The Akron Symphony’s Sounds of Akron concert took place on April 16, 2016.

Rita Dove is a Pulitzer Prize winner, former U.S. Poet Laureate, and the only poet honored with both the National Humanities Medal and the National Medal of Arts. An Akron native, she is currently Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia.

(Photo courtesy of W.W. Norton & Company)