Juneteenth Concert is a ‘Celebration of Freedom’
Free Press staff report | 6/2/2022, 6 p.m.
Juneteenth (or Freedom Day) will be celebrated in its truest sense at St. James’s Episcopal Church at 5 p.m. June 19 at the church, 1205 W. Franklin St. This event features a spectacular “Freedom Day Organ Recital” performed by renowned organist Dr. Carl Haywood, playing music he composed just for the occasion.
In addition, The Celebration Ensemble, made up of members of Norfolk State University and St. James’s choirs, will be singing spirituals, including “Lift Every Voice” and “We Shall Overcome.”
“We all know the quote, ‘Where words fail, music speaks.’ So true,” said Dr. Mark Whitmire, St. James’s director of music. “The music of our Juneteenth Celebration will say plenty about the cause of racial equality and justice. I think we can all agree that 400 years of words haven’t accomplished enough, as we gather a block from Monument Avenue, which until recently, displayed Confederate statues. Juneteenth is a message beyond music.”
St. James’s is known for its pipe organ, a CB Fisk, Opus 112, which is said to be among the finest organs in the nation.
For the past 17 years, St. James’s has hosted a service of music in collaboration with Dr. Haywood and the Norfolk State Choir with readings in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King. In recent years this tradition has been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“St. James’s Church is delighted to share its gifts, including our impressive music program, to inspire unity and deepen our faith as Christians, not only with our lips but in our lives,” said The Rev. Dr. John McCard, rector.
For more information, please contact: Katie Ricard, St. James’s Church firstname.lastname@example.org; 508-309-0128