Our Soul II: Roots & Rights Corporate Sponsor
Four years ago, in honour of Black History Month, the Peterborough Singers staged a ground-breaking concert featuring the genre of African American music of the 1950s and 1960s known colloquially as soul.
That afternoon, we came together to explore and celebrate an era of popular music founded on the unique combination of rhythm and blues and gospel. Along with Artistic Director Syd Birrell, band leader Steve McCracken, and featured singers Beau Dixon and Bridget Foley, I was privileged to serve as the researcher and master of ceremonies for the event.
I have long admired soul music for its unique combination of the secular and the spiritual; its unfailing groove that frames powerful emotional content; and its pivotal role in serving as a soundtrack for the civil rights movement. Its emergence from the first traditions of gospel music is an undeniable source of both its joy and its relevance.
This year, we are again celebrating soul music in support of Black History Month, enthusiastically rediscovering a musical journey that came to find genuine expression in places like New Orleans, Memphis, Motown, Philly, Chicago, and ultimately the world.
I am grateful to the extended family of the Peterborough Singers for the opportunity to continue this cherished musical legacy. I am proud to offer my support to one of our most valued local artistic organizations, and I am hopeful that it will encourage others to do the same.