Arts and Entertainment

Essence of Joy presents "Our Gift in Song" Dec. 9

Essence of Joy is one of seven faculty-conducted choral ensembles in the Penn State School of Music. Organized in November 1991 by Anthony Leach, the choir performs sacred and secular music from the African and African-American choral traditions. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Essence of Joy will present its annual holiday gift to the Penn State community, "Our Gift in Song," on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 7:30 p.m. in the Worship Hall of the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center. The music director is faculty member Anthony T. Leach.

Tickets are $4.99 for general admission and $2 for students. No advance ticket purchase is available. Ticket sales begin 45 minutes prior to the concert in the lobby. Cash only.

Partial Program

Jesus Is the Light of the World - Kenneth Louis/Anthony Leach

Ave Maria - R. Nathaniel Dett

A Light - Carlos Simon

Te Deum - Sydney Guillaume

Christmas Choral Medley - Stan Spottswood

Born To Die - Glen Burleigh

— Born To Die

— Magnificat

Great Joy - Buryl Redd, Joseph Joubert, and Michael McElroy

— What Child Is This?

— Away in a Manger

—  Infant Lowly, Infant Holy

— A Christmas Wish

Created in 1991, Essence of Joy sings sacred and secular music from the African and African-American choral traditions. Annual University Park events include fall and spring concerts, as well as the "African American Music Festival" (February) and "Our Gift in Song" (December). The choir also regularly collaborates with other Penn State ensembles, including a performance of the Leonard Bernstein "Mass" in 2013.

Involving undergraduate and graduate students from all academic programs at Penn State, Essence of Joy has performed throughout the U.S. The choir has been invited to perform for conferences of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, the eastern division of the Music Educators National Conference, the eastern division of the American Choral Directors Association, the national American Choral Directors Association, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. In addition, they have presented concerts at the Schomburg Museum of Black American Culture in New York City. The choir made its first European tour in 2001 with concert performances in Poland and the Czech Republic. Recent tours have taken Essence of Joy members to South Africa, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Canada, Spain and France.


Last Updated December 04, 2017