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Music of the Black Church

A History of Music in the Black Church

The Upper School community welcomed members of Mt. Jezreel Baptist Church’s music ministry for a special chapel service exploring the history of music in the Black church. Led by Mt. Jezreel’s Minister of Music David Lindsey and featuring our very own Rev. Kristin Elliott, the musicians took students and faculty on a musical journey from spirituals and hymns, to traditional gospel music with choirs, to more contemporary gospel music, which draws influence from other genres, including jazz and hip-hop. The worship experience had everyone in Trapier Theater clapping, swaying, and standing on their feet.

After chapel, the musicians stayed to speak with Upper School music ensembles, answering questions and even teaching student musicians a piece. In demonstrating how music in the Black church supports the presiding minister of the service, Rev. Elliott recited Psalm 23 with the accompaniment of the organ, one of the most integral instruments of gospel music.

Thank you to the talented musicians for sharing this historical and cultural worship experience with our community. You can continue an exploration of music in the Black church with this specially curated playlist.

Music of the Black Church
Located in Washington D.C.,  St. Albans School is a private, all boys day and boarding school. For more than a century, St. Albans has offered a distinctive educational experience for young men in grades 4 through 12. While our students reach exceptional academic goals and exhibit first-rate athletic and artistic achievements, as an Episcopal school we place equal emphasis upon moral and spiritual education.