American Spiritual Ensemble
Featured on Alabama Public TV

Traditional African-American spirituals express the despairs and joys of enslaved Africans. Forbidden to speak their native language or practice their culture, they found hope in the Christian religion of their masters.

The songs move both singers and listeners through the whole spectrum of emotion today as they did during the time of slavery. They have had great influence on both church and secular music in America.

Everette McCorveyThat's why Everette McCorvey, Professor of Voice and Director of Opera at the University of Kentucky, thought spirituals should be preserved, revered, and cherished. He founded the American Spiritual Ensemble which tours the world performing stirring renditions of traditional African-American spirituals.

A ninety-minute concert by the American Spiritual Ensemble, recorded at the Bean-Brown Theatre on the campus of Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, will be broadcast on Alabama Public Television Monday, February 2, at 9:00 p.m.

The Ensemble features some of the finest voices from North American opera ranging from regional companies to the Met. All the singers share McCorvey's passion for spirituals and they assemble to perform several times each year. Their tours take them to halls spanning the US and Europe and their performances are always stunning.

Everette McCorveyAmerican Spiritual Ensemble

A native of Montgomery, McCorvey received his degrees from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, including a Doctorate of Musical Arts. The Tuscaloosa concert recorded for this broadcast was a homecoming for McCorvey who came to the University of Alabama with plans to become a band director. University faculty encouraged him to concentrate on vocal studies because they recognized his voice as a unique treasure.

The concert was recorded by The University of Alabama Center for Public Televison & Radio, a service of the College of Communication and Information Sciences. The program was produced by Dwight Cammeron and directed by Cammeron and Max Shores. A brief biographical feature on McCorvey shown during the intermission was produced by Greg Hagler.

For more information about the American Spiritual Ensemble visit

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