In today's episode, we talked with composer Marques Garrett and conductor Patrick Quigley about their perspective on the future and relevance of the African-American spiritual.
Marques Garrett, PhD student at the Florida State University and one of the leading young compositional voices of the spiritual said, "Choral organizations are continuously commissioning composers to arrange spirituals...this lets you know that America's original folk music is not going anywhere".
Patrick Quigley, founder and artistic director of Seraphic Fire, has always been fond of the spiritual, dating back to his childhood growing up in Louisiana. During our conversation about the spiritual, Quigley said, "I personally have a hard time referring to people like Moses Hogan and André Thomas as arrangers. I think that it's disrespectful to the work that they do. Actually, in concerts, I always refer to them as composers and inform the audience that these are compositions in the same way that The Moldau is a composition of Smetana...It is very important that we embrace this music as part of our national artistic patrimony for the concert stage."
If you are interested in hearing more of their interviews in this week's episode of Sing to Inspire, click the audio player above. If you have missed a previous installment of our "Celebration of the Spiritual" series, scroll to the bottom of this feature to access those archived episodes.
#SingToInspire Performance of the Week
Steal Away - arr. Patrick Dupré Quigley
Seraphic Fire, performer
Reginald Mobley, soloist
Patrick Dupré Quigley, conductor
Special shoutout to the National Lutheran Choir for their performance of Marques Garrett's "Hold On" and to Seraphic Fire for their performance of Moses Hogan's "Great Day" in this week's episode!
#SingToInspire Picture of the Week
Video of Marques Garrett's arrangement "Hold On" performed by members of Cantus and the National Lutheran Choir.
Check out these previous episodes of #SingToInspire
Sing to Inspire: Celebration of the Spiritual - Vol. 1