Travel with Bennett-Watt and listen to Ann Caldwell and The Magnolia Singers in South Carolina, an acapella group that performs
traditional gospel hymns.
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Gospel Singers in South Carolina
Ann Caldwell: A lot of people hear about the spirituals and they hear about the Gela language but they never really hear it. And this is just one of the ways that we decided we do it, so that they could get an idea of that part, of the cultural part of being in the south. Then it was the praise house. It’s a place where the African-Americas gathered to do the worship services and of course, the spiritual were not just about worshiping because they were used a lot of places. In the fields, at work, at play, a lot of places but to give people the experience of being in a place where the spirituals of our song. I could think of no better place than Circular Congregation Church.
Host: Once a week, Ann Caldwell and the Magnolia Singers bring the Circulated Congregational Church alive in gallop tradition.
Ann Caldwell: For me, it’s my ancestry. Out of the Gela music, out of the spirituals came all the other types of music. The blues, the jazz, I’d eventually say diva. A lot of music came from here, it comes from some place and I do not think a lot of people realized that and how prevalent the spirituals are in society. When well as educating people about the language, about the people who composed it in their lives and the heart makes it in fact on them. And spirituals have that power to just transform people, and I just stood here the past three months and just watch people transform as a result of the spirituals.
They sing about a lot of things, they sing about birth, they sing about death, about everything in between. It’s pretty much like the blues, it talked about what was going on in their lives and they did that. If you listen, you hear what’s going on in the lives and they’re about 6,000 spirituals on record. So, they have to cover a lot of territory and I still firmly believe that the spirituals are used to lift the spirits. We’re talking about folks who worked hard from sun up to sun down.