Weird and Thrilling Concert in Carleton Place? The Fisk Jubilee Singers of Tennessee University



Jubilee singers, Fisk University, Nashville, Tenn.

Shouting Soprano

The Jubilee Singers of Tennessee University under the auspices of the Carleton Place Mechanics’ Institute, in one of their Weird and Thrilling Concerts.  Plantation Melodies in the true Southern Style.  Miss Piollie Johnson, The Great Shouting Soprano.  Admission 25c, 35c, children 15c.  Tickets at MacLean’s Book Store.

September 1883 Carleton Place Herald

“The wild melodies of these emancipated slaves touched the fount of tears and grey-haired men wept like little children”.


Photo –Family Tree Circles

A singing class organized by George L. White, 1838-1895, gave the first of a series of public concerts in spring 1867. Eleven singers toured Ohio as `a band of Negro minstrels’ in 1871. Originally known as the Fisk Free Coloured School, Fisk University was established in 1865 to educate newly freed slaves.

The Fisk University Jubilee Singers was the first group to publicly perform the songs of slaves and they shared them with the world. When the Fisk Jubilee Singers first performed in the late 1800s, they sang ballads and patriotic anthems; it was their director, George White, who suggested that they sing the songs of their ancestors.

The group was hesitant at first to expose this sacred music but agreed to add a few spirituals to their program. The music was well-received, often moving audiences to tears. With their performances, the Jubilee Singers were able to keep alive these songs of the past and reveal the emotions and strong faith of the African American slave.


The Fisk Jubilee Singers on. Tour Early 1900-Photo AfriGeneas

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.

The Fisk Jubilee Singers continue the tradition of singing the Negro spiritual around the world. This allows the ensemble to share this rich culture globally, while preserving this unique music.


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal, 08 May 1893, Mon, Page 6


Photo January 1900 CP Herald
Found by Josh Greer- and property of Lisa Occomore and Brad Occomore of Valley Granite & Tile.)

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun

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