Essence of Joy Sings April 6

Penn State's Essence of Joy will present its annual spring campus concert on Sunday, April 6 at 6:00 p.m. in the Worship Hall of the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center. Tickets are $4.99/general and $2.00, available at the door.

The choir's final concert of spring celebrates its year-long theme of ‘We Are the Dream.’  They recently completed their spring break tour, which included performances in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The music director of Essence of Joy is Anthony Leach.

Program - "We Are the Dream"

Hear My Prayer ♦ Moses Hogan

Come To Mount Zion ♦ Stan Spottswood

Babethandaza ♦ arr. Daniel Hughes

Bring Me All Your Dreams ♦ Christopher Harris

Dreams ♦ Mark O’Reilly

Just As I Am ♦ arr. Victor Johnson

Lead Me To Calvary ♦ arr. Kenneth Louis

O Lord I Want You to Help Me ♦ Stan Spottswood

I Stood on the River of Jordan ♦ arr. Colin Lett

Anchored in the Lord ♦ arr. M. Roger Holland, II      

Lord Send Your Spirit ♦ Raymond Wise

My Heart Says Yes ♦ Diane White Clayton

Anthem of Praise ♦ Richard Smallwood

Rejoice ♦ Smokie Norful

Anticipation ♦ V. Michael McKay

Created in 1991, Essence of Joy sings sacred and secular music from the African and African American choral traditions. Annual University Park events include fall and spring concerts, as well as the "African American Music Festival" (February) and "Our Gift in Song" (December). The choir also regularly collaborates with other Penn State ensembles, including a performance of the Leonard Bernstein "Mass" in 2013. Involving undergraduate and graduate students from all academic programs at Penn State, Essence of Joy has performed throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Georgia, Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, North Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee, Ohio, and Illinois.

The choir has been invited to perform for conferences of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (1995, 1997, 2003), the eastern division of the Music Educators National Conference (1997), the eastern division of the American Choral Directors Association (2002, 2006, 2014), the national American Choral Directors Association (1999, 2003, 2005, 2011), and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (2000). In addition, they have presented concerts at the Schomburg Museum of Black American Culture in New York City (1998, 1999, 2001).

Essence of Joy has released four compact discs: "The Soul and Spirit of Essence" (1998), "Essence 'Live'" (2000), "Lift Every Voice and Sing," and "The Light" (2003). The choir made its first European tour in 2001 with concert performances in Poland and the Czech Republic. Recent tours have taken Essence of Joy members to South Africa, Taiwan, Korea, Spain, and France.

Last Updated April 01, 2014