2014: Marching to Zion - Celebrating and Preserving Black Sacred Music

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The 2014 Pruit Symposium, "Marching to Zion: Celebrating and Preserving Black Sacred Music" is a three-day series of presentations, panels and unforgettable gospel music performances. The Baylor Libraries Black Gospel Music Restoration Project is dedicated to conserving the black sacred music tradition for future generations, and this year's Symposium recognizes the leading scholars and preservers of this rich, musical heritage.

Everyone is welcome to enjoy these three gospel celebration events as part of the Symposium!
  • Thursday, October 23, at 7:00 p.m. in Roxy Grove Hall, Dr. James Abbington, Associate Professor of Church Music & Worship at Emory University, will lead a Gospel Song Celebration that will feature a variety of leading performers and composers of gospel music sharing classic and contemporary gospel songs in a "dueling pianos" format. Admission is FREE.
  • Friday, October 24, at 7:00 p.m. at 7th and James Baptist Church, Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, Civil Rights leader, musician and author, will speak at 7th and James Baptist Church. Her keynote address, "Songs of Life: Living, Love and Struggle," will follow a moving performance by a choir conducted by Dr. James Abbington comprised of singers from Dallas, Fort Worth and the Central Texas region. Admission is FREE.
  • Saturday, October 25, at 10:00 a.m. at the Baylor Club in McLane Stadium, the Symposium will close with a gospel brunch celebration featuring the Jones Family Singers. This event is SOLD OUT.
Full Symposium registrants will also enjoy:
  • A keynote presentation by Dr. Dwandalyn Reece, Curator of Music and Performing Arts at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History Culture, entitled "Musical Crossroads: Telling the Story of African American Music in a National Museum"
  • Sessions by acclaimed scholars of black sacred music
  • A preservation workshop presented by Deborrah A. Richardson, retired Chair and Chief Archivist for the Smithsonian American History Museum's Archives Center

We hope that you are able to join us at Baylor University for what will be an historic gathering and celebration of black sacred music. For more information about the 2014 Pruit Symposium, please contact us by email or call (254) 710-3200.

The 2014 Pruit Symposium is sponsored by the Office of the Provost, The Department of History, the School of Music, the Department of Journalism, Public Relations and New Media, the Department of American Studies, the Center for Christian Music Studies, the Kyle Lake Center for Effective Preaching at Truett Seminary, and the Baylor University Libraries.