Songs of Faith, Courage, and Consolation

Art of Life — Produced by Karen Smyles

Thomas Lloyd has directed the combined choral and vocal studies program for Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges since 1996. He has also served as Artistic Director of the Bucks County Choral Society since 2000. Lloyd is also Director of Music at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral. He was recently the only choral conductor in a list of area arts leaders named as a “Creative Connector” by Leadership Philadelphia, a program of WHYY and the Knight Foundation, for his extensive work in arranging collaborative performances with artists both in the region and around the world.

Dr. Lourin Plant is an Assistant Professor of Voice at Rowan University and an accomplished baritone. He is also well-known for his study and writings on the history of African American spirituals. Lloyd is white and Plant is African American. These two musicians recently came together to create a program on the history of African American spirituals with the hopes of bringing this genre of music to a wider and more diverse audience.

In October, Friday Arts went to the campus of Haverford College to interview the two, while they were hard at work on the pieces that were presented in a concert that was held on Sunday, October 27th, 2013. They shared a wealth of knowledge about the spirituals beginnings and how they have evolved over the years to the present. And, we had the pleasure of sitting in on their rehearsal. We also travelled to Bucks County to shoot a full rehearsal with the Bucks County Choral Society and the other diverse, very talented soloists and singing groups that were part of the performance. We all walked away with a greater appreciation of just how beautiful and meaningful this genre of music truly is.

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