93rd Annual Morehouse-Spelman Christmas Carol Concert Ushers In Holiday Season

Date Released: December 18, 2019

The 93rd annual Morehouse-Spelman Christmas Carol Concert series attracted more than 1,500 people to the Atlanta University Center to start  the holiday season in song.

The festive concert featured a variety of traditional and signature songs, as well as contemporary interpretations of holiday music performed by two world-renowned historically black college choirs, the Glee Clubs from Morehouse and Spelman colleges. Songbooks were provided so that audiences could sing along with their favorite holiday carols, including “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Brittney Boykin and “Angels We Have Heard On High” by Stanley Thurston, among other songs. 

The combined choir of more than 100 talented students performed for three nights in concerts that were free and open to the public. Two performances were held at  Morehouse College’s Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel and one was held at  Spelman’s Sisters Chapel.

“Excellence abounds at the Atlanta University Center,” said Dr. David A. Thomas, President of Morehouse College. “The annual Christmas Carol Concert shows the music mastery that students at Morehouse and Spelman possess. The concert has attracted thousands of people over the years. It is our gift to Atlanta to show our appreciation for the city and its residents who visit our colleges and support our programs.”

The Christmas Carol Concert dates back nearly a century. It began in December 1927—two years before Morehouse graduate Martin Luther King Jr. was born, and one year before the venerable Atlanta African American newspaper, the Atlanta Daily Worldwas founded. The idea for the concert came from the presidents of the two institutions, John Hope of Morehouse and Florence Matilda Read from Spelman.

The first concert was held in Spelman’s Sisters Chapel, then the largest venue on the two college campuses.  The tradition grew as crowds grew, with the concert becoming a three-night affair. When Morehouse’s Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel was built in 1978, the concert partially moved into the larger venue. Eventually, the format became two nights at Morehouse and one at Spelman to usher in Christmas. The holiday event attracts many hundreds of alumni, neighbors, and supporters from across metro Atlanta and the nation.

At this year's concert series, the Morehouse Glee Club sang the moving "O Little Town of Bethlehem" by David Conte and "A King is Born" by Sy Gorieb, Tim Hosman, and arranged by Tim Sarsany. Students also sang several songs with Spelman's Glee Club.

Morehouse Glee Club Director David Morrow said he looks forward to the holiday concert season every year. A former Glee Club member, he has been performing in or directing the Glee Club's Christmas Carol Concert for 33 years.

“I enjoy working with our talented young singers to create some wonderful music and Christmas cheer for our friends in the Atlanta community and beyond,” said Morrow ’80.“It is a wonderful holiday tradition.”

Last Modified: December 19, 2019, 09:12 AM, by: Casey Herrington

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