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robert thompson

Concert of Spirituals in Recognition of Black History Month

St. John’s Episcopal Church
101 Chapel St
Portsmouth, NH 03801

St. John’s Episcopal Church’s Concerts on the Hill and the New Hampshire Chapter of the American Guild of Organists will present “A Concert of Spirituals in Recognition of Black History Month” on Sunday, February 09, 2020, at 4:00 PM. The performance will feature vocal soloist Reverend Robert Thompson and Barbara Flocco as a piano accompanist.

The concert will include spirituals arranged by Harry T. Burleigh (1866-1949), such as “Couldn’t Hear Nobody Pray,” “Deep River,” and “Steal Away.” There is a $15 suggested at-the-door donation for adults, $10 for students and seniors.

“Deprived of their language, their culture, and their families, slaves retained their music and used spirituals to express their emotions and even to convey secret messages,” says Jennifer McPherson, St. John’s Director of Music and Liturgy. “Out of this rich and important musical tradition grew popular musical genres beginning with the Blues and Jazz. As Black History Month unfolds, we wanted to highlight and celebrate this important musical legacy.”

The Rev. Robert Thompson is a 1972 graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy, NH and has been educated at Wesleyan University, Middleton, CT, Union Theological Seminary, NY and Payne Theological Seminary, Wilberforce, Ohio. He has served as Pastor at churches in Bellaire and Urbana, Ohio and is an ordained itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Rev. Thompson co-founded The Thompson Foundation, a non-governmental organization in Ghana, and was honored by being named a traditional chief in the Ghanaian village that adopted him. He has also performed as an actor and singer at various venues in the United States and Canada.

For the past 17 years, Barbara Flocco has served as Music Director and Organist at the Bedford Presbyterian Church, NH. She is also a Chapel Organist at Phillips Exeter Academy. Flocco maintains a private piano and organ studio. As a performer in chamber music and collaborative piano, she and Rev. Thompson have worked together for the past 30 years.

St. John’s Episcopal Church is located in the heart of the Seacoast’s music center. The church’s “Concerts on the Hill” programming brings world-class performers from across the globe to Portsmouth. Throughout the year, in addition to liturgical music, these musical performances in the historic St. John’s church offer a genuinely unique experience for all. These performances are open to music lovers of all ages, including younger attendees exploring their interest in a range of musical styles.

The mission of the New Hampshire Chapter of the American Guild of Organists is to foster a thriving community of musicians who share their knowledge and inspire passion for the organ.

St. John’s Episcopal Church is located at 101 Chapel Street in Portsmouth, NH. Visit www.stjohnsnh.org for information about the church’s events and programs.