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Second annual Joyous Jubilee Concert Series is making a comeback at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis

Free concerts to be held in January and February, marking MLK Day and Black History Month

Cathedral Concerts has announced its second annual series, “Joyous Jubilee: Music to Lift the Soul,” three evenings of sacred, spiritual and gospel music, which will take place in January and February at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.

Cathedral Concerts executive director Scott Kennebeck said the series bridges the two weeks between the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and the beginning of Black History Month. He worked on this year’s series again with Joyce Jones, a friend and longtime member of several St. Louis choirs over the years. She recently was hired as program director of racial harmony for the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Generous support from Ascension Health means the series is free, Kennebeck said, and no tickets are required.

“Last season the audiences were thrilled, and the choirs had such a wonderful time performing in the space it was just natural to do it all again,” Kennebeck said. “This season we have three of the best local gospel and spiritual choirs in St. Louis. The cathedral will be filled with the moving music of these three amazing groups.”

• The North City Deanery Choir will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24. The choir is co-directed by Danny DuMaine, choir director at St. Alphonsus “Rock” Parish in St. Louis, and Simeon Layne Jr., director of music at St. Augustine Parish in St. Louis. The group was formed out of an effort of the archdiocesan North City Deanery Interracial Relations Committee several years ago, and includes members of several parishes in the North City Deanery and others.

The Sheldon’s The City of Music All-Star Chorus based at the Sheldon Concert Hall will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31. Directed by Maria A. Ellis, the new choir made up of young singers in ninth- through 12th-grades provides teaching and mentoring, as well as performance opportunities at the Sheldon and elsewhere in the community.

• Two St. Louis-based choirs will perform together at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7. The award-winning New Sunny Mount Baptist Church Chancel Choir, directed by Anita Watkins-Stevens, will be joined by the Gospel Symphonic Choir, directed by Dello Thedford. The Chancel Choir has performed across the St. Louis area and received first place in the “Verizon Wireless How Sweet the Sound” Choir Competition and was named Best Church Choir in the St. Louis/Kansas City region in 2008 and 2010. The Gospel Symphonic Choir was formed from a variety of people, including choir members at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in East St. Louis, Ill., where Thedford previously was minister of music; and Jennings High School alumni. Thedford is performing arts director with the Jennings School District and choral director at the high school.

For more information on the series, visit cathedralconcerts.org.

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