CTS to Present Spiritual Cantata for Black History Month with Chicago Community Chorus and the Marian Catholic High School Gospel Choir

CHICAGO, IL – Chicago Theological Seminary’s Center for Black Faith and Life, Charles Shelby Rooks Society and Office of Community Life is pleased to present “Changed My Name,” a cantata for Black History Month on campus Thursday, February 26, 2015. The cantata will share the stories of freedom fighters Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth through song. The performance takes place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26 at CTS in the fourth floor chapel and feature the Chicago Community Chorus under the direction of Dr. Keith Hampton and Marian Catholic High School’s Gospel Choir and Marian Catholic High School’s Gospel Choir.

“We are so excited for the opportunity to have this work performed at CTS, “ said CTS director of community life, Rev. Lisa Goods.  “Changed My Name” so powerfully depicts the lives, the struggles, the resilience and the tenacity of our African American Ancestors that it is a must for all to experience. By combining this great work with a performance by the Marian Gospel Choir we hope to engage a new generation into the legacy of our history as depicted in the genre of spirituals.”

Linda Twine, composer of “Changed My Name,” is a veteran Broadway conductor and has been music director for such hits as Jelly’s Last Jam; Big River; Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music; Ain’t Misbehavin’, Caroline, or Change, The Color Purple, and The Wiz. She was the conductor for the European tour of Andre Heller’s highly acclaimed Body and Soul and the Manaichi Broadcasting System production of Harlem Symphony in Osaka, Japan. Ms. Twine has also been a guest conductor of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Richmond Symphony and Harlem Festival Orchestra. She has conducted for Leslie Uggams, The Persuasions, Ben Vereen, Shirley Horne, Linda Hopkins and many others. As a composer, she has written Sisters of Freedom, which premiered by the Harlem Spiritual Ensemble. She also she served as music supervisor for the off-Broadway production Thunder Knocking on the Door.

About Chicago Community Chorus

The Chicago Community Chorus (CCC), founded in 2003, provides an advanced choral experience to anyone who loves to sing. CCC seeks to reflect the diversity of Chicago by involving singers from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, and now numbers over 130 members presenting at least three performances each year in a variety of venues. CCC’s repertoire spans a wide variety of choral music from gospel, hip-hop and cantata to oratorio, jazz and pop. CCC is under the direction of Artistic Director and Founder Dr. Keith T. Hampton, a renowned organist, performer, composer, educator, church musician and clinician. A specialist in the field of Gospel Music, the North Central American Choral Directors Association in 2010 selected Dr. Keith Hampton as one of the top 25 Contemporary Composers “whose composition, Praise His Holy Name, should be standard repertoire for choirs today and for the next 25 years.”

About Marian Catholic High School

Marian (MCHS) was founded in 1958 by the Dominican Sisters of Springfield on the corners of Ashland Avenue and Joe Orr Road in Chicago Heights, Illinois. The Marian student body has approximately 1,100 students from 70 communities in Illinois and Northwest Indiana. Marian students have been extremely successful academically both before and after graduation.

The Gospel Choir, under the direction of Marian Catholic senior, Julian Goods and supervised by Mrs. Erin Russell works to preach the Gospel Message through song by offering concerts in the community and enhancing MCHS liturgical celebrations with song.

About Chicago Theological Seminary’s Center for the Study of Black Faith & Life (CSBFL)

CSBFL is the first theological center within a denominational seminary to seek connections with the larger Black faith community inclusive of a variety of Black religions and to offer Master and Ph.D. degree concentrations in Black faith and Black life. The CSBFL is dedicated to cultivating the next generation of leaders who will speak with a prophetic voice that lifts high the African American heritage of faith, freedom and justice. The Center, through research, critical examination, theological reflection, and contextual engagement, addresses the forces of oppression and dehumanization for the betterment of academy, church, and community.

About Chicago Theological Seminary

Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS) is a seminary of the United Church of Christ that serves over twenty-five different Christian and non-Christian faith communities by preparing men and women for the next generation of religious leadership, whatever that may be. Founded in 1855, CTS promotes a progressive, forward-looking philosophy and is at the forefront of religious scholarship, interreligious dialogue and transformative leadership. CTS graduates, students, faculty and staff have been advocates for social justice and mercy since the days of the Underground Railroad.

Chicago Theological Seminary helps individuals discern and articulate an evolving faith for the future, whether in ministry, teaching, advocacy, activism, social work or social justice.