Spiritual music workshop open to public

Published 6:55 pm Friday, March 14, 2014

Christian Life Church in Troy will host a spiritual music workshop at 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and a concert 4 p.m. Sunday, March 23, at the church annex at 102 Market Street.

Church pastor, the Rev. Anthony Askew, said the workshop is titled “Give Me That Old Time Religion” and those who participate in the workshop will learn about the history of “Negro spirituals.”

“These Negro spirituals, or spirituals, as we call them today, are the soul of African American music,” Askew said. “They are beautiful expressions of the human experience. Our ancestors who experienced the horrors of slavery used music as an escape. They expressed their emotions, figuratively or literally, through their music. The language of these spirituals is cathartic. Through it, we feel their pain.”

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Askew said the spirituals taught in the workshop and then sung in concert will be used as a vehicle to tell the story of the ancestors of African Americans in songs of the past.

The repertoire will include, “ Low Down the Chariot,” “Thank You Lord,” “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” “Amazing Grace” and many of the old, familiar hymns, some with hidden meanings.

“We will learn about the secret meanings of the joys and cries in their music,” Askew said. “American blues, jazz and gospel music are outgrowths of spiritual music.”

The “Give Me That Old Time Religion” workshop and concert are open to teenagers and adults who desire to be a part of a special musical experience.

The concert on Sunday will feature spirituals by the choir, conducted by Robert Lee, and special music by local singers and musicians. The concert will be from 4 until 7 p.m.

“The purpose of the workshop and concert is, of course, to worship God and to come together in a time of healing, laughter, fun, singing and remembrance,” Askew said. There is no fee for the workshop and all who desire to be a part of something especially meaningful are invited to participate. The concert on Sunday is free and open to the public. All denominations are welcome.