|Cast||Aaron Robinson Paul Havenstein II Kristen Martin Peter Gray Mariann Holden David Woodward Heather Sylvester David Goulet Danielle Vayenas Jennifer McLeod Gloria Ledoux Kelly Caufield Ashley Emerson Sheldon Bird Richard Gammon Lynne McGhee|
|Plot||On December 11th, 1961 at the 41st St Theater in New York City, 6 gospel singers made history. Backed up by only a piano and a B3 Hammond organ, they performed Black Nativity by the African American poet and playwright Langston Hughes. He titled it a Gospel-Song Play because it combined gospel spirituals with narration about the birth of Jesus. A truly remarkable production to see, it is however virtually unknown to the general public and even to many musicians. Although there exists only a single cast recording, which was made from the initial run of the original Broadway production, a musical score is unobtainable to those wishing to perform the vocal selections in concert form. Why? Simply put, Hughes chose gospel spirituals that were in the public domain to accompany his text, and various seasonal productions use their own choice of song to illustrate their specific production needs. In addition, the improvisations and performances found on that celebrated cast LP would be impossible to replicate onto the printed page. Conductor-pianist and music historian Aaron Robinson, having listened to the album for several years, set to the task of creating a score inspired by the legendary performance. Believing that music is both universal and inclusive, encompassing no barriers of race, creed or color, Robinson offered the opportunity to perform in this premiere concert to all those who were interested in singing a style of music that was not normally a part of their tradition. The response was overwhelming, Without hesitation, several members of the community and the Immanuel Baptist Church choir rose to the occasion by rehearsing diligently for months on end, trying to authentically recreate the gospel sounds of these Christmas spirituals. This is the product of their creation.... search for Black Nativity: In Concert - A Gospel Celebration on IMDb|
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