American Spiritual Ensemble, the
- Tammy L. Kernodle
Founded by Everett McCorvey in 1995, the ensemble defines its mission as the preservation of the spiritual tradition. McCorvey, a native of Montgomery, Alabama and Professor of Voice and Director of Opera at the University of Kentucky, founded the group because he felt that the arranged spiritual tradition was not being celebrated in the same manner as other forms of African American sacred music, especially gospel music. The group’s membership, which ranges from 25 to 50 performers depending on the performance requirements, consists of singers who have performed on the stages of the Metropolitan Opera, the Houston Grand Opera, and concert halls throughout Europe. Although he traveled the world as a tenor soloist and has served as artist faculty at the American Institute of Musical Study in Graz, Austria, McCorvey has made a considerable contribution to the American concert tradition through the group. The group’s repertory includes not only arranged spirituals in the ensemble and art song format, but also jazz and Broadway tunes. It has traveled extensively around the world. In ...