Let Freedom Ring!

Tenor section leader Timothy Williams directs his group during the Gospel Meets Symphony choir rehearsal. (Phil Masturzo/Akron Beacon Journal)

Tenor section leader Timothy Williams directs his group during the Gospel Meets Symphony choir rehearsal. (Phil Masturzo/Akron Beacon Journal)

Gospel Meets Symphony: Let Freedom Ring! is a musical celebration of America’s heritage and diversity. The Akron Symphony Orchestra and a 200-voice choir blend two genres — gospel and classical melodies — for a unique and uplifting concert experience.

This program airs on WOSU TV on Sept. 1 at 9pm.

Maestro Christopher Wilkins leads the combined orchestra and choir from more than 50 local churches in performances from Verdi’s Nabucco, in addition to When I Rose This Morning and Ride on King Jesus.

Guest conductor Dr. Roland Carter — internationally-known composer, arranger and teacher — will wield the baton for his well-known arrangement of the ”African American national anthem” Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing, along with his arrangement of the Negro spiritual In Bright Mansions.

Choir director Jennifer Jones leads the Gospel Meets Symphony choir. (Phil Masturzo/Akron Beacon Journal)

Choir director Jennifer Jones leads the Gospel Meets Symphony choir. (Phil Masturzo/Akron Beacon Journal)

Charles J. Myricks is a local composer and minister at Arlington Church of God who has written several songs and two full musicals — Paul: A Musical Journey, about the apostle, and the Christmas-themed The Miracle of Love. Myricks is also the founder of gospel vocal group Divine Hope. He will conduct his own works I Made It Home, I Thank My God, and I Know the Lord, and for the first time in the concert’s history, the soloists will perform in costume.

Also on the program is Jerry Smith’s When I Rose This Morning; And Praise, And Praise; Keep Your Loving Arms Around Me; and another spiritual, Ride On King Jesus.

- Scott

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