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Watch and Listen: Sacred Music by Duke Ellington Ahead of Bucks County Choral Society Concerts

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Duke Ellington

Live from the WRTI Performance Studio, we heard moving selections from Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts, performed by musicians who will be appearing with the Bucks County Choral Society in Ellington’s historic work. WRTI's Bob Perkins and Debra Lew Harder host.


Their appearance at WRTI is in advance of concerts on June 1 and June 2 of a full choral and orchestral version of Ellington’sSacred Concerts, which will be performed by the Bucks County Choral Society, led by Thomas Lloyd, in conjunction with the Intermezzo Choir, led by Carrie Lessene, and the Philadelphia Community Mass Choir, led by Jay Fluellen.

TheSacred Concerts are three late compositions of Duke Ellington, which he considered his most important creative work. Our live broadcast at WRTI features DeVonne Gardner, soprano, who sang the Sacred Concerts many times with Ellington, on tour in the 1960’s. DeVonne will be joined by dynamic young baritone Shafiq Hicks, along with Carrie Lessene, alto, and Thomas Lloyd, tenor.  Acclaimed jazz pianist and composer Jay Fluellen will be at the keyboard.

Make sure to tune in May 29 at 7 PM for the sacred side of Duke Ellington!


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Debra's last day on the air at WRTI was September 21st, 2021. She's now the radio host for The Metropolitan Opera. Read more here.