Essence of Joy to present spring concert April 24

April 12, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Essence of Joy will perform its annual Spring Concert, concluding the group’s 25th anniversary season. Works from 15 composers will be performed, including pieces by Moses Hogan, Lela Anderson and Roland Carter.

The performance will be held at 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 24, in the Worship Hall of Pasquerilla Spiritual Center on the University Park campus of Penn State. Tickets will be available at the door, and are $4.99 for nonstudents and $2 for students.

Essence of Joy was created by Professor Anthony Leach to sing at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Banquet in January of 1992. Following its inaugural performance, the Penn State School of Music choral organization continues to focus on sacred and secular music from the African and African-American choral traditions.

Graduate and undergraduate students audition for the group, which performs both at Penn State and around the world. 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 group has toured and performed all over Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C., Georgia, Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, North Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee, Ohio and Illinois. This year’s spring break tour took the group to schools and churches in Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia. Previous tours have been to countries as far as Poland, the Czech Republic, Spain, France, South Africa, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan. Next, the group is planning to travel to Indonesia in 2017.

The choir has been invited to perform at state, division and national conventions for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (2009, 2003, 1996); the Eastern Division of the National Association for Music Education (2015, 2009, 1997); the National Association for Music Education (2004); the Eastern Division of the American Choral Directors Association (2014, 2006, 2002); and the American Choral Directors Association National Conventions (2011, 2005, 2003, 1999). 

Last Updated April 14, 2016