The December 2020 issue of Choral Journal is online and features an article titled “R. Nathaniel Dett’s The Chariot Jubilee: An Instrument for Fostering Racial Harmony” by Jason Max Ferdinand. You can read it in its entirety online at acda.org/choraljournal. Following is the introduction. You can read the full article in the December 2020 issue.
The progress of people of African heritage in classical music offers an intricate portrait that has not always been clearly visible. However, their contribution can be readily seen in Negro spirituals, jazz, gospel, and other American popular styles. Jazz rhythms and blues intervals infuse concert music of Ives, Gershwin, and Copland in America; Ravel, Milhaud, and Dvořák abroad; and many more recent composers from both sides of the Atlantic. Yet, many music history books offer an inadequate account of the many significant contributions to Classical music composition from persons of African descent such as Robert Nathaniel Dett.
Over the last century and a half, however, it has been demonstrated that both classical music and Black music have become diverse and nuanced. This article seeks to position Robert Nathaniel Dett’s The Chariot Jubilee for SATB, solo, orchestra, and organ as an instrument for fostering racial harmony during a time in American history in which it is much needed.
View this full article (and more!) in the December 2020 issue of Choral Journal, available online at acda.org.