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Gifted soloists unite in American Spiritual Ensemble

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Celebrate Black History Month with the American Spiritual Ensemble when the Mercyhurst Institute for Arts and Culture brings the world-renowned vocal ensemble to the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 7:30 p.m. for a concert of spirituals, hymns and Broadway numbers highlighting the black experience.

Since its inception by Dr. Everett McCorvey in 1995, the group has thrilled audiences around the world with its dynamic repertoire. The uniqueness of American Spiritual Ensemble stems from the fact that 90 percent of its members are accomplished soloists who have performed in theaters and opera houses throughout the United States, including the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera and Houston Grand Opera, and abroad in Italy, Germany, Britain, Spain, Japan and Ireland. The resulting sound is something that choral groups with two or three featured soloists cannot duplicate.

Audience members can enhance their concert experience with several pre-show events. Starting at 6:15 p.m., a reception will be held in the Cummings Art Gallery with hors d’oeuvres, a signature cocktail, wine and beer. Reception tickets are $10 and can be purchased at, or call 814-824-3000. Availability is limited.

At 7 p.m., Dr. Jean E. Snyder, author of Harry T. Burleigh: From the Spiritual to the Harlem Renaissance, will present a talk titled “Erie’s Harry T. Burleigh: Pioneer Arranger of Spirituals.” The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Zurn 114.

Tickets for the performance are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $10 for youth (10 and under). For more information, visit, or call 824-3000.

A limited number of complimentary tickets are available for Mercyhurst students who bring their I.D. to the box office.