The works of African American composers Moses George Hogan and Glenn Edward Burleigh are being celebrated by the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC).
The two-day festival held in the Foerster Student Service Center on CCAC’s Allegheny campus is open to the public Friday and Saturday and will feature choral performances from groups across the country along with panel discussions.
Organizer Dr. Herbert Jones, who directs the Pittsburgh Gospel Choir, said this event is a first in North America.
“The first festival of its kind that was featuring the music only of Moses Hogan was held at Prague two years and there has been a conference that has featured the music of Glenn Burleigh that has been separate, but not the two combined,” Jones said.
Hogan, who died in 2003, is known internationally for his popular arrangements of spirituals. The music of Burleigh, a pianist, conductor and composer who died in 2007, has been performed everywhere from churches to classical concert stages to the movie, The Preacher’s Wife.
The festival opens Friday night at 7:00 PM with a concert featuring the Essence of Joy Alumni Singers, originally from the Penn State School of Music, as well as the Pittsburgh Gospel Choir and the Pittsburgh Gospel Ensemble. It will conclude with a concert Saturday at 7:00 PM featuring the CCAC choir and Allegheny Campus choir before intermission and the mass choir following intermission.
“[The mass choir is] comprised of participants who registered for the conference,” Jones said. “They’re coming from North Carolina, they’re coming from Texas, they’re coming from Mississippi, they’re coming from New York, they’re coming from New Jersey. And that choir will perform and close out the concert in the second half of Saturday night.”
Additionally, Saturday morning at 11:00 AM there will be a panel discussion of international and national instructors and educators.
Student tickets for the entire event are $5. General admission is available at the door for $20 per person.