Thursday, September 1, 2016

Bringing Traditional Spirituals and Their Stories to a New Generation

The Arise Ensemble

The South Sebastian County Historical Society, in collaboration with Greenwood Schools, is delighted to bring you the stories and songs of the acclaimed Arise Ensemble, September 17 at 7 PM at the Performing Arts Center, 515 East Gary Street, in Greenwood. There is no charge for admission.

This acclaimed choir from Wichita, Kansas will not only sing the historic songs once known as "Negro Spirituals," but will share the stories behind them. Listeners will learn how the songs once served the community of enslaved persons as warnings, advice, instruction and inspiration and will see how their message continues to inform, educate and uplift us today.

The choir has a connection to the Greenwood community in soloist Gerald Norwood (pictured below). Mr. Norwood is the grandson of former slave and Greenwood resident Henry Norwood (1850-1952).  The choir will be joined by Greenwood High School's Prescelto Chorus in singing "Fare Thee Well," a song with special meaning to the Norwood family.

The presentation is funded in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Arkansas Humanities Council, Arkansas Black History Commission, Greenwood A & P Commission, Greenwood Education Foundation, Greenwood High School Beta Club and Greenwood High School. All are welcome to attend.

For more information, contact the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce at 479-996-6357 or visit the Historical Society's Facebook page at OldJailMuseum.