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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 4, 2004
CONTACT: Randye Jones
202/904-3635
research@artofthenegrospiritual.com

Jones, Conlon To Tell "The Gospel Truth about the Spiritual"

Soprano and researcher Randye Jones and pianist Francis Conlon will present a lecture-recital entitled, "The Gospel Truth about the Negro Spiritual," at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 24, 2004, in Room 403 of The George Washington University’s Marvin Center. The gospel ensemble, The Voices of Inspiration, will join the pair in presenting music from both the spiritual and gospel genres.

"We want the audience to learn what spirituals are and the differences, both historically and musically, between them and gospel music," Jones stated. "Both sprang up from the African American experience. However, each developed in a different time and circumstance in our history, and they served different purposes in our lives as a people. This is very clearly reflected in how the music is performed."

Jones will also discuss some of the musicians who have contributed to the genres as composers and performers, as well as play selected recordings. She will then join Conlon and the Voices of Inspiration for a live performance of songs from both genres. "There will also be opportunities for the audience to be directly involved," she added.

Jones received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Bennett College, Greensboro, North Carolina, and completed her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Florida State University, Tallahassee. She is currently a library manager at The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. She is also conducting research for a book entitled, The Art of the Negro Spiritual, and has developed the much-cited Web site, Afrocentric Voices in Classical Music.

Conlon earned both his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Catholic University of America. He has played in New York City at Carnegie Recital Hall, and in Washington at such notable sites as the Kennedy Center. He has performed with several orchestras, including the Washington Chamber Orchestra, the Montreal Chamber Orchestra, and the Washington Sinfonia. His teaching duties include his current position on the music faculty of The George Washington University in Washington.

The duo recently released their debut recording, Come Down Angels. The compact disc includes 14 Negro spiritual settings from pioneering composers such as H. T. Burleigh, R. Nathaniel Dett, and Hall Johnson to contemporary composers Hale Smith and Maria Corley.

The Voices of Inspiration, under the direction of Curtis Mitchell, is a multi-cultural community service-based student organization dedicated to singing inspirational and gospel music. VOI has performed for various events such as the Friends Community Block Party and the Multi-cultural Religion Candle Light Vigil at GW’s Kogan Plaza. The group has planned upcoming performances in various area hospitals, nursing homes, and public schools in need of "inspiration."




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2003
CONTACT: Randye Jones
202/904-3635
research@artofthenegrospiritual.com

Jones, Conlon Release Debut Spirituals CD, Come Down Angel

Soprano Randye Jones and pianist Francis Conlon announce the release of their debut recording, Come Down Angels. The compact disc includes 14 Negro spiritual settings by: H. T. Burleigh, R. Nathaniel Dett, Edward Boatner, Hall Johnson, Julia Perry, Hale Smith, Margaret Bonds, Maria Corley, John Carter, Roland Hayes, Undine Smith Moore, Robert MacGimsey and Betty Jackson King.

Recorded during three live recitals held in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, the songs express the gamut of emotions conveyed by the slaves who originally created them. A short history of the development of spirituals into the art song format presented on the compact disc is included.

Released in August, 2003, Come Down Angels is part of The Art of the Negro Spiritual series of performances.

“The Art of the Negro Spiritual is a research project studying the history of art song settings of Negro Spirituals,” stated Jones, who is also the project’s lead researcher. “The result of the project will be a book of the same title.”

"Our goal is to develop a primary source for singers, teachers, and musicologists. The book will discuss the history of the Negro spiritual, biographies of composers and performers, a bibliography of other relevant resources, a discography and an analysis of published scores. Most importantly, we want to discuss the ways these art songs should be performed that is stylistic consistent with the roots of the spiritual.

"Come Down Angels is the first step in the process. We hope to produce other recordings of Negro spirituals set for solo voice, in addition to publishing the book. There are many wonderful works out there that challenge the vocalist both technically and on a personal level. Students and voice teachers are looking for this music, but it is not always easy to find or understand how to perform it. I hope that The Art of the Negro Spiritual will address some of that."

Jones received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Bennett College, Greensboro, North Carolina, where she was named to “Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.” She completed her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Florida State University, Tallahassee, where she studied with Barbara Ford and Enrico Di Giuseppe. She served as a music cataloger for the Florida State University Libraries before accepting a library manager position at The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. In addition to her ongoing research on “The Art of the Negro Spiritual,” she created and maintains the much-cited Web site, Afrocentric Voices in “Classical” Music. Her professional affiliations include: the National Association of Negro Musicians, the Recording Academy, and the Washington Area Music Association.

Conlon received both his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Catholic University of America. He has played in New York City at Carnegie Recital Hall, and in Washington at such notable sites as the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Library of Congress. He has performed with several orchestras, including the Washington Chamber Orchestra, the Montreal Chamber Orchestra, and the Washington Sinfonia. His awards include the National Society of Arts and Letters competition and the Jordan Awards Contest in Washington. He has served as official accompanist for the National Symphony Young Soloist Competition, the National Opera Institute Auditions, and the National Federation of Music Clubs Contest. His teaching duties include his current position on the music faculty of The George Washington University in Washington.

Visit www.ahhjay.com for more information about Come Down Angels. To learn more about The Art of the Negro Spiritual, go to www.artofthenegrospiritual.com.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2003
CONTACT: Randye Jones
202/904-3635
research@artofthenegrospiritual.com

Jones, Conlon to Present Art of the Negro Spiritual Recital

Soprano Randye Jones and pianist Francis Conlon will present a recital on Sunday, April 27, at 4:00 P.M. at Ascension Lutheran Church, 7415 Buchanan Street, Landover Hills, Maryland. This is the third in the three-concert series, The Art of the Negro Spiritual. A freewill offering will be accepted. For further information, please call 202/904-3635.

The program includes spiritual setting by: H. T. Burleigh, R. Nathaniel Dett, Edward Boatner, Florence Price, Hall Johnson, Julia Perry, Hale Smith, Margaret Bonds, Maria Corley, John Carter, Roland Hayes, Undine Smith Moore, Robert MacGimsey, William Grant Still, J. Rosamond Johnson, Thomas Kerr, Jr., and William Lawrence.

Music from the three recitals will be selected for the upcoming commercial recording, Come Down Angels. The compact disc is scheduled for release in June, 2003.

The Art of the Negro Spiritual is a research project studying the history of art song settings of Negro Spirituals. The result of the project will be a book of the same title.

"Our goal is to develop a primary source for singers, teachers, and musicologists," said Jones, who is also the project's lead researcher.

"The book will discuss the history of the Negro spiritual, biographies of composers and performers, a bibliography of other relevant resources, a discography and an analysis of published scores. Most importantly, we want to discuss the ways these art songs should be performed that is stylistic consistent with the roots of the spiritual.

"'Come Down Angels' is the first step in the process. We hope to produce other recordings of Negro spirituals set for solo voice, in addition to publishing the book. There are many wonderful works out there that challenge the vocalist both technically and on a personal level. Students and voice teachers are looking for this music, but it is not always easy to find or understand how to perform it. I hope that The Art of the Negro Spiritual will address some of that."

Randye Jones received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Bennett College, Greensboro, North Carolina. She received the Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Florida State University, Tallahassee, where she studied with Barbara Ford and Enrico Di Giuseppe. Presently, she is on the staff of The George Washington University's Gelman Library and is a member of Ascension Lutheran Church. She performs regularly in the Washington Metropolitan Area and is the developer of the much cited Web site, Afrocentric Voices in Classical Music.

Francis Conlon received both his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Catholic University of America. He has played in New York City at Carnegie Recital Hall, and in Washington at such notable sites as the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Library of Congress. His awards include the National Society of Arts and Letters competition and the Jordan Awards Contest in Washington. He has served as official accompanist for the National Symphony Young Soloist Competition, the National Opera Institute Auditions, and the National Federation of Music Clubs Contest. His teaching duties include his current position on the music faculty of The George Washington University in Washington.




Thank you for your interest in The Art of the Negro Spiritual. Other research by Randye Jones is featured at Afrocentric Voices in Classical Music.


The Art of the Negro Spiritual
PO Box 281
Grinnell, IA 50112
Phone: 641/821-0188 FAX: 641/236-5253
Email: research@artofthenegrospiritual