Musical traditions celebrated
February 6, 2006 —
Music enthusiasts stood along the back wall of the Rhea Miller Recital Hall during a packed performance of "Moses and the Cantor" on Saturday, Jan. 28. The concert began at 7:30, but the seats were filled by 7:15.
Cantor Daniel Gale, baritone, Oral Moses, bass-baritone, and Catherine McMichael, piano, performed the concert "Songs of Struggle and Songs of Faith: Celebrating the African-American and Jewish Musical Traditions."
"Tonight we will share with you common historical experiences of the African-American and Jewish people - music that speaks to the common bonds of our two peoples, including the struggles," Gale said. "Both peoples had to struggle against slavery and depression ... a struggle that still continues today."
The concert included a vast array of musical pieces from serene Yiddish folk songs to soulful African-American spirituals.
The fourth piece of the concert was a series of sections from Songs of the Faith, a musical demand for God to bring an end to persecution.
Moses then changed the dynamic of the concert completely to sing soulful renditions of spirituals including "Dry Bones" and "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child." He also sang a fast and uplifting version of "This River," which inspired several people in the audience to sway and clap along.
One of the final pieces of the concert was the light and airy "Emily," sung by Gale. The audience was informed that it had been written about a young soldier writing a letter to his love before being sent away on a mission during WWII.
Moses dedicated the song to "those now serving in Iraq and defending the principles of a great land."
After the song was performed it was mentioned that the armed services was still segregated at the point "Emily" was written, and that just two weeks ago the UN held its first official commemoration of the Holocaust, 61 years after the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps.
"Let us realize that our journey is not yet done, no matter how far we've come," Gale said.