The Gospel Choir of St. Matthews AME Zion Church, Sewickley, PA
Gospel music as we know it began in the 1930s but the roots can be seen much earlier in the southern states. African American communities in the late 19th century would come together in their churches and share spirituals and hymns. Before that, those spirituals were an important part of slave culture. Groups of slaves would sing together as the worked, often choosing old songs connected to their faith. For some, this was little more than a way to feel closer to God during hardship. For others, the communal songs and harmonies would create bonds between workers. Song was often used as a means of covert communication between slaves, especially those seeking information about family members or looking to escape.
Join the choir as they share both modern gospel and the old black spirituals that represent the backbone of the black American churches. The rhythm of the music dares you to keep your feet still and your hands silent. The music itself makes that an impossible task.