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ANS Recitals, Lectures and Recordings

As part of The Art of the Negro Spiritual research project, Randye Jones regularly presents a series of ANS recitals and lectures. The purposes of these events are: 1. to offer a living forum for sharing the fruits of the ongoing research; 2. to educate others about this dynamic music; 3. to encourage other musicians to explore spirituals for their own personal, professional and academic growth.

Soprano Randye Jones and Pianist Francis Conlon

    Interpreting the Negro Spiritual in Classical Vocal Performance
    With Marlys Grimm, piano
    Wednesday, April 8, 2015, 4:00 p.m.
    Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, Lawson Lecture Hall (Rm. 152)
    Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa
    Free and open to the public

    "Dat Promised Land," The Art of the Negro Spiritual
    includes works by Roland Hayes, Hall Johnson, John Carter, H. T. Burleigh, Julia Perry, Uzee Brown, Jr., Moses Hogan, Hale Smith, and R. Nathaniel Dett
    With Marlys Grimm, piano
    Sunday, April 19, 2015, 4:00 p.m.
    Herrick Chapel, Grinnell College
    1128 Park Street, Grinnell, Iowa (Map)
    Free and open to the public

    Lecture-discussion, "Secret Signals in the Negro Spiritual"
    Sunday, April 26, 2015, 10:00 a.m. Unitarian Fellowship of Marshalltown
    Community YMCA, 108 Washington St., Marshalltown, Iowa

Other upcoming performances and/or lectures will be announced on this site. Please check regularly for more information. Come Down Angels


In advance of the book, The Art of the Negro Spiritual, a compact disc recording of Negro spirituals has just been released! Songs on the Come Down Angels recording came from three recitals presented by Ms. Jones and pianist Francis Conlon.

On the recording are settings by: Betty Jackson King, H. T. Burleigh, Edward Boatner, Hall Johnson, Julia Perry, Hale Smith, Margaret Bonds, Maria Corley, John Carter, Roland Hayes, Undine Smith Moore, Robert MacGimsey, Thomas Kerr, and R. Nathaniel Dett.

To obtain acopy of Come Down Angels, please visit AhhJay Records' web site for more information.

Additional recitals will be announced as scheduled. If you are interested in engaging Ms. Jones for an ANS recital or would like more information specifically about the ANS project, please complete the form below.

Please note: If you have research questions, please share them only on the ANS Talks forum.

ANS Information Request Form

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You may also contact Ms. Jones at 641/821-0188, via email at, or at PO Box 281, Grinnell, IA 50112.

Selected Past Recitals and Lectures

The first ANS recital was held on Sunday, June 23, 2002, at Ascension Lutheran Church, Landover Hills, Maryland.

(Recital Flyer) (Recital Program) (Sound Clip Sample)

The audio sample is entitled, "This Little Light of Mine," which was recorded with the kind permission of its composer, Hale Smith. Dr. Smith published the song through Halsco Music, and he is a member of BMI.

The second recital was held on Thursday, November 14, 2002, at Western Presbyterian Church, Washington, DC.

(Recital Flyer) (Recital Program) (Sound Clip Sample)

The audio sample is entitled, "Steal Away," which was recorded with the kind permission of its composer, Maria Corley.

The third ANS recital was held on Sunday, April 27, 2003, at Ascension Lutheran Church, Landover Hills, Maryland

(Recital Flyer) (Recital Program)

The fourth recital was presented on October 10, 2003, at Ebenezer Lutheran Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. Ms. Jones was ably accompanied by Dr. David Pinnix, chairperson of the music department at Bennett College.

The program included the world premiere of Maria Thompson Corley's setting of "I Want Jesus to Walk with Me." Click on the sound clip below to listen (warning: a large file).

(Recital Flyer) (Recital Program) (Sound Clip Sample) (Recital Images)

Another spirituals recital was presented on Sunday, September 26th, 2004, at the Church of the Annunciation, Washington, DC. Pianist Frank Conlon was again the accompanist. The program included works by Hall Johnson, William Lawrence, R. Nathaniel Dett, Undine Smith Moore, Julia Perry, Thomas Kerr, Jr., Florence Price, Betty Jackson King, Hale Smith, Moses Hogan, H. T. Burleigh, Edward Boatner, Uzee Brown, Jr., Maria Corley, Robert L. Morris, and Margaret Bonds.

Pianist William Tinker and Jones during ANS Recital, Grinnell, Iowa, April 6, 2008

In April, 2006, Ms. Jones presented a lecture recital on Afro-Native Americans in Classical Music at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, where she re-introduced Margaret Bonds' song cycle, Five Creek-Freedmen Spirituals.

Ms. Jones participated in a panel discussion of ways to collaborate in the preservation of the Negro spiritual. The panel was sponsored by the National Association of Negro Musicians at their 87th annual conference, Norfolk, Virginia, from July 23-27th, 2006. For more information, see the article about the panel and its participants is on page six of NANM's Reverberations newsletter, and a flyer for the conference.

Two more ANS recitals were presented on Saturday, April 15, 2006, at Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa. Ms. Jones was joined by pianist John Rommereim in a program of spirituals, especially featuring those themed on the crucifixion of Christ. Ms. Jones also presented a new program of spirituals organized into song cycles in November, 2006. The program included excerpts from Roland Hayes' The Life of Christ, John Carter's Cantata, Margaret Bonds' Five Creek-Freedman Spirituals, and Uzee Brown's Tryin' to Make Heaven My Home.

The most recent programs were based on works by composers born in the years immediately following the American Civil War--from Burleigh and Hall Johnson to Boatner and Lawrence--on November 4, 2007.

(Recital Flyer) (Recital Program)

The second part, on Sunday, April 6, 2008, featured composers born in the 20th century and included Margaret Bonds' Five Creek-Freedman Spirituals plus works by Smith Moore, Perry, Kerr, Morris, Smith, Jackson King, Brown, Thompson Corley, Hogan, and Carter. Both recitals were performed with pianist William Tinker. (Recital Flyer) (Recital Program)

Video Clips from Recent Art of the Negro Spiritual Recitals featuring Randye Jones

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.