Guelph Chamber Choir hosts workshop, concert of African-American Music Saturday

Lovers of African-Ameri­can music are in for a treat next month when Canada’s Brainerd Blyden-Taylor comes here to direct a workshop and concert, at Harcourt Memorial United Church.

This Songfest is sponsored by the Guelph Chamber Choir and includes four guest choirs: Dublin Street United Church, Harcourt Memorial United Church, the Rainbow Chorus and University of Guelph Choirs.

The workshop features a talk on African-American mu­sic on Friday evening, followed by individual and massed choir rehearsals Friday and Saturday. Well-known Guelph drummers Fulé and Adwoa Badoe will also hold a drumming and dance workshop on Saturday afternoon. The workshop con­cludes with a concert for the public on March 7 at 8 pm. Music will include African-American gospel music and spirituals such as Deep River, songs by African-Canadian com­poser, Nathaniel Dett, and Canadian Stephen Hatfield’s arrangement of Jabula Jesu.

“Brainerd is an inspiring speaker and a superb musical ambassador for Canada. We are delighted to have him come to Guelph” says Gerald Neufeld, conductor of the Guelph Chamber Choir. “Just last month he was in Washington where he joined the celebrations for President Obama’s inauguration, conducting his Toronto-based chorus The Nathaniel Dett Chorale.”.

Tickets are $10 for general admission, and $5 for eyeGO. Tickets can be obtained from the River Run Centre box office 519-763-3000, 1-877 520-2408, or www.riverrun­, the Guelph Chamber Choir (519-836-5103) or from participating choir members. The free drumming workshop is open to the public, but registration in advance is requested, as numbers are limited (call 519-836-5103).