The Spelman College Glee Club is joining the Dance Theatre of Harlem for two incredibly special live performances at the Cobb Energy Centre on October 22 and 23. As a Spelman alumna, please imagine how excited I was to hear about this performance.
I’ve been a huge fan of the Dance Theatre of Harlem since seeing them for the first time as a college student and having them backed by the Spelman College Glee Club is going to be a truly remarkable performance. This will mark the first time that I will be able to see these two powerhouses of the arts will work together.
The Glee Club will provide the vocal accompaniment to “Change” choreographed by Dianne McIntyre, a former Spelman College Distinguished Visiting Scholar. I was fortunate to have to the opportunity to talk with Dr. Kevin Johnson, the director of the Spelman College Glee Club and learn more about this unique collaboration.
Creating a Collaboration Between the Spelman College Glee Club and Dance Theater of Harlem
One of my first questions was how this collaboration came together. Dr. Johnson explained to me that Ms. McIntyre approached him with the intention of historical Negro Spirituals as the accompaniment. Her first selection came from an early 1970s Glee Club recording of “By and By” arranged by Roland Allison. Dr. Johnson then provided a list of additional options for her selection. Ultimately, Ms. McIntyre selected “Don’t You Let Nobody Turn You Around” as arranged by Dr. Kevin Johnson as the second piece the Glee Club will perform.
For audiences who are curious about how the performance will be presented, “The Glee Club will sing from the stage. The power of this performance is that you’ll have the 80 Spelman women in formal attire; people are amazed by the variety of persons,” said Dr. Johnson. “The added power is the diversity of the Glee Club members with their majors, hometown, and even physical differences.”
When I asked how the Glee Club prepares, Dr. Johnson shared that it’s based upon lots of practices and lots of timing cues for both groups. “It’s an added piece for the choir. They will sing better with the artists performing in front of them.”
Tickets and Discount Passcode
The performances will be at the Cobb Energy Centre on Oct. 22 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 23 at 3 p.m. Tickets will be priced from $75, $55, $45 and $25, plus applicable fees, and will be available online at www.Ticketmaster.com, by calling 800-735-3000 or at the Cobb Energy Centre Box Office. Spelman alumnae and friends enjoy a special 25% off discount when purchasing tickets online and using the passcode “Spelman.”
Please let me know if you’ll be at the performance so we can say hello. I’ll be there front and center with my family.