Fisk Jubilee Singers to perform at Bardo Arts Center

The Fisk Jubilee Singers. Photo credit: Bill Steber & Pat Casey Daley

The Fisk Jubilee Singers will be performing at Western Carolina University’s John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13.

The Fisk Jubilee Singers are vocal artists and students at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, who sing and travel worldwide. Joining the Fisk Jubilee Singers as a special guest on select songs will be the WCU Concert Choir. The event is part of the Arts and Cultural Events series.

The original Fisk Jubilee Singers introduced “slave songs” to the world in 1871 and were instrumental in preserving this unique American musical tradition known today as Negro spirituals. They broke racial barriers in the U.S. and abroad in the late 19th century and entertained kings and queens in Europe. At the same time, they raised money in support of their beloved school.

In 1999, the Fisk Jubilee Singers were featured in “Jubilee Singers: Sacrifice and Glory,” a PBS award-winning television documentary series, produced by WGBH in Boston. In July 2007, the Fisk Jubilee Singers went on a sacred journey to Ghana at the invitation of the U.S. Embassy. It was a historic event as the ensemble traveled to Ghana for the first time and joined in the celebration of the nation’s golden jubilee, the 50th independence anniversary.

In 2008, the Fisk Jubilee Singers were selected as a recipient of the 2008 National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest honor for artists and patrons of the arts. The award was presented by President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush during a ceremony at the White House. The Fisk Jubilee Singers continue the tradition of singing Negro spirituals around the world.

Tickets for the performance are $5 for WCU students; $10 for non-WCU students and WCU faculty and staff; and $15 for general admission online or at the Bardo Arts Center box office. For tickets and group sales, contact the Bardo Arts Center Box Office at 828-227-2479 or online at bardoartscenter.wcu.edu.