WSCM2020, July 11-18 2020, Auckland New Zealand

Jeffrey Ames

TWO AFRICAN AMERICAN GENRES: SPIRITUAL AND CONCERT GOSPEL

Country: USA

“It is not enough to simply know the music. One must know the culture of the folk music as well as the history of its people, but most importantly, the music must be sung with respect of that culture.” -André J. Thomas Way Over in Beulah Lan’ (Scholar on the Negro spiritual)

In this presentation, Jeffrey Ames will provide a thorough understanding of two African American genres: the Spiritual and Concert Gospel – from its inception through its development today. Dr. Ames will celebrate the genres through an examination of musical analysis, tone colour, diction and the use of dialect, listening examples, hands on application by communal singing/rehearsing, and realising the importance of incorporating body movement, as an aspect of performance practice.


Jeffery Ames serves as Director of Choral Activities and Full Professor at Belmont University. Dr. Ames has conducted collegiate, senior and junior high school mixed, and male choirs at national, regional, and state conventions of the American Choral Directors Association and the National Association for Music Education. He has performed and guest conducted internationally in the countries of Australia, Costa Rica, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Estonia and South Korea.

Dr. Ames has collaborated with well-known conductors such as André Thomas, Allen Crowell, Jo-Michael Scheibe, Lynne Gackle, and Anton Armstrong. Additionally, wellknown celebrities include Trisha Yearwood, Laura Bell Bundy, CeCe Winans, Connie Smith, Ricky Skaggs and The Whites, Denyce Graves, Michael W. Smith, Kathy Mattea, Sheryl Crow, and legendary rock band the Rolling Stones.

A published composer and writer, Dr. Ames specialises in composing works that are from the heart. His literary publications focus on choral music in the concert gospel genre, as well as choral music in the Western tradition composed by modern African American composers.

Dr. Ames holds the Ph.D. in Choral Conducting/Choral Music Education and a Master of Choral Music Education degree from The Florida State University, and a Bachelor of Music degree, with a double major in Vocal Performance and Piano Accompanying, from James Madison University. He holds the honor of being the first recipient of the National ACDA James Mulholland Choral Music Fellowship, as well as being the first African American ACDA ICEP Conducting Fellow.

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