The Life and Legacy of Albert McNeil and the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers of Los Angeles
Mohr, Brenda Jean
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Since the beginning of the twentieth century no single American choral conductor and choir, other than Dr. Albert McNeil and the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers, has dedicated more than fifty years to the preservation of the African American spiritual. His legacy exists as a result of a generation of singers who dedicated part of their lives to join him on his musical mission of world travel, presenting and preserving one of America's oldest collections of sacred folk songs—spirituals. In addition to the several hundred students he taught and mentored during his tenure at the University of California, Davis, his passion for this music left an indelible imprint on over one hundred fifty members of the Jubilee Singers as well as the millions of concertgoers worldwide who had the privilege of hearing them. Throughout his teaching career in Los Angeles and at the University of California, Davis, McNeil had a tremendous impact on the people with whom he shared his knowledge of the spiritual. He guest lectured at colleges and universities both local and abroad, presented and performed at national and international choral conferences and toured nationally with his singers through seventy-seven countries and forty-four states. He has arguably earned his place as an equal alongside the founding West Coast spiritual preservationists, Hall Johnson and Jester Hairston. The aim of this study is to document his life, teaching career, touring career with his Jubilee Singers, achievements and awards, and summarize his choral teaching methods and techniques, including performance practice guidelines of spirituals developed through his apprenticeships with Johnson and Hairston.
- Music