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The Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers (DCJS) will present “An Afternoon of Negro Spirituals and African-American Sacred Music,” Sunday, Oct. 15 at 3 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 315 N. Cayuga St., Ithaca. The concert will include favorites from DCJS’s recent Mother’s Day (May 14) performance at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and a wide selection of new material.

The chorus also will perform Tuesday, Oct. 17 at around 7:30 p.m. at the United Presbyterian Church, 42 Chenango St., Binghamton at the 2017 Faith for a Fair New York Conference and Poor People’s Campaign Mass Meetingjal, held Oct. 17-18 in Binghamton. The conference will bring together faith, labor and community leaders from across New York with leaders of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, including the Rev. Dr. William Barber. The Oct. 17 program, 7-9 p.m., is free and open to the public.

The Dorothy Cotton Jubilee singers, founded in 2010 by Dr. Baruch Whitehead, associate professor of music education at Ithaca College, is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation dedicated to the preservation of the Negro Spirituals and the use of its themes of sorrow, despair and hope to promote racial healing and social justice.
The 80-member chorus of different ages (18 to 80), heritages and backgrounds, includes some 20 Ithaca College voice students who perform many of the solos; Cornell deans, faculty, staff, alumni and retirees; and a host of community members.

DCJS is named in honor of civil rights pioneer Dorothy Cotton, an Ithaca resident who worked in Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s inner circle as education director in the 1960s. In 2007 the U.S. Congress officially designated African American spirituals a “national treasure.”

The Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers sponsors include The Community Arts Partnership, the Dorothy L. Allen Black Gospel Music and the Kraut Family Funds of the Community Foundation of Tompkins County, and the Legacy Foundation of Tompkins County.

The concerts are free with suggested donation.

Featured image provided.

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.