The performance will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. in Palmer Hall of the Calvin and Janet High Center for Worship and Performing Arts located at Messiah College, 1 College Avenue, Mechanicsburg. Admission is $20 for adults, and free for children younger than 12. Tickets can be purchased online at www.messiah.edu/tickets or by calling 717-691-6036.
The Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia, under the direction of Terell Stafford, is an ensemble of 17 stellar jazz musicians who come from, or live in Philadelphia.
As a touring artist, Stafford had noticed that every great city has a jazz orchestra, existing primarily to preserve the jazz legacy of that city. Wanting the same for Philadelphia, Stafford began the The Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia in 2013. Now firmly established, the group dedicates themselves to preserve and continue Philadelphia’s unique, rich jazz sound and traditions. The group aims to become the face of Philadelphia jazz, establishing the city as a nationally and internationally recognized destination for jazz performance.
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Highly qualified to head up the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia, Stafford is a world renowned trumpet player who has been called “one of the great players of our time.” Recognized as a gifted and versatile performer, he is also an educator and currently serves as the director of jazz studies at Temple University. Feeling that an educational component is another important part of the orchestra’s mission, Stafford also arranges for young jazz musicians to be mentored by the seasoned members of the group.
Rutha Harris is one of the founders and original singers of the Freedom Singers, an important group during the Civil Rights Movement that brought the messages of equality and social justice to communities through song. From Albany, Georgia, the group performed at important national events during the 1960s, such as at the March on Washington. Later Harris moved north and joined the a cappella group, Sweet Honey in the Rock, but then returned to Georgia where she now convenes the current edition of the Freedom Singers for an informal program each month at the Albany Civil Rights Institute.
The Christian-based 50 member United Voices of Praise is Messiah College’s gospel choir. Open to all Messiah College students, the group performs modern, urban-style gospel selections both on campus and in the community. The choir is under the leadership of Eric Byrd.