Kennesaw State celebrates American music

The School of the Arts at Kennesaw State University will celebrate National American Music Week…

Georgia (Oct 21, 2002) — Kennesaw State celebrates American music

Cheryl Anderson Brown


The School of the Arts at Kennesaw State University will celebrate National American Music Week with its first−ever American Music Fall Art Song Festival‚ Nov. 5−8. This series of public lectures and concerts focuses primarily on the American folksong but also touches on other areas including French‚ Creole and Jewish songs in the United States.

"We are really highlighting the work of John Jacob Niles who arranged volumes of folksongs‚" said Dr. Oral Moses‚ who is coordinating the festival with his Kennesaw State Department of Music colleague‚ Hillary Hight. "Every voice student in America has sung at least one of Niles's arrangements."

Niles's work includes such favorites as "Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair‚" "Sweet Little Boy Jesus" and "The Gambler's Lament."

The festival opens at 8 p.m.‚ Nov. 5 with "A Kristallnacht Commemoration‚" a unique concert at The Temple‚ 4789 Peachtree St. N.E. in Atlanta. Featuring the world premiere of KSU Composer−in−Residence Laurence Sherr's "Fugitive Footsteps‚" this choral event honors the victims and survivors of the Holocaust.

Then‚ the festival swings into full gear on Nov. 6 with a 10 a.m. lecture by musicologist Dr. Ron Pen‚ who curates the John Jacob Niles collection at The University of Kentucky. This is followed by a 3:30 p.m. masterclass‚ "Singing American Songs‚ with Dr. Uzee Brown of Morehouse College.

That evening‚ up−and−coming vocalist Rebecca Lanning‚ will perform. Her concert is also featured on KSU's new Emerging Artists Series.

"The Emerging Artist Series highlights musicians who are on the verge of becoming international performers‚" said Arts Dean Joseph Meeks. "Ms. Lanning has been teaching‚ directing and performing in Macon for a few years‚ but this year she really began to emerge as a future superstar after the National Association of Teachers of Singing named her a semi−finalist for its national Young Artist Award."

Other features of American Song Festival include a session on French songs in America and separate performances by Dr. Brown and Dr. Moses. Dr. Brown will perform "An Evening of Spirituals and African−American Songs" on Nov. 8. Dr. Moses‚ accompanied by Dean Meeks‚ will sing Nov. 9.

All American Song Festival events are free and open to the public except the Rebecca Lanning concert. Tickets for that event are $15.

For more information and a complete schedule of events‚ visit or call 770−423−6650.

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Kennesaw State University‚ a comprehensive‚ residential institution with a growing student population of 15‚600 from 118 countries‚ offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Out of 34 institutions‚ KSU is the fifth largest in the University System of Georgia.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit