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American Spirit

Friday • May 17 • 7:00 PM

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Celebrate American creativity and vision with works by Copland, Hanson, African American spirituals, and settings of poetry by Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes, and others.

Featuring pianist Glenn Priest with orchestra in Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.


First Presbyterian Church

2050 Oak Street –Sarasota, FL

All tickets are general seating


Adults $35

Under age 18 admitted free

College students free with ID card

Blocks of 10 or more $25 per ticket

American creativity celebrating our vision of freedom – this is the theme of the concert. You’ll be moved and motivated by a collage of works that includes:

Song of Democracy – Whitman’s exalted poem set by Howard Hanson.
The Promise of Living (from The Tender Land) – Copland’s grand anthem of gratitude.
O Beautiful for Spacious Skies – the premier of Steven Phillips’ arrangement for choir
  and orchestra.
Three Poems of Langston Hughes – playful and probing gems of choral music!
  Mother to Son – Gwyneth Walker
  New Moon – R. Ian Gordon
  To Sit and Dream – Rosephanye Powell
A Tapestry of Spirituals: O Freedom; Let My People Go; and Ride On, King Jesus.

The evening features guest singer and actor Maicy Powell of West Coast Black Theater Troupe sharing her formidable vocal talents. In addition, Ms. Powell offers a recitation of The Hill We Climb, the riveting performance piece written by Amanda Gorman.

The concert is crowned by guest pianist Glenn Priest in George Gershwin’s thrilling Rhapsody in Blue. Written one hundred years ago, the ground-breaking piece melds the European classical tradition with our uniquely American art form of jazz, which was birthed and incubated in the African-American experience.

Supporting this exciting evening is a 20-piece orchestra, with Jennifer Best Takeda, Assistant Concertmaster of Sarasota Orchestra.


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Maicy Powell

Singer and Actor

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Jennifer Best Takeda


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Glenn Priest

Piano Soloist

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