The Lipscomb choir partnered with the Fisk Jubilee Singers, Intersection and MET Singers to present Upon These Shoulders last night at Fisk University’s memorial chapel.

The evening featured music, spoken word and Negro spirituals. The purpose of the night was to honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King and the many heroes of the Civil Right Movement.

Intersection, which included current Lipscomb students Scott Brons and Samson Tucker, performed the song Seven Last Words of the Unarmed, composed by Joel Thompson.

Junior Lipscomb student and piano performance major Brons said that singing the words to the song meant a lot to him.

“It’s such a powerful piece,” Brons said. “Joel Thompson did such a great job composing it. There are all kinds of little things in it that make it both musically and emotionally mature and sincere.”

The song is composed of the last words of seven unarmed black men: Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, Kenneth Chamberlain, Amadou Diallo and John Crawford.

Diallo’s last words were: “Mom, I’m going to college.” The song is intended to show those words being cried out as a powerful moment and message of pain and realization.

Freshman and philosophy major Tucker took this opportunity to look more into the victims.

“It led me to do more research on it because a lot of the names I didn’t know.”

The MET singers, led by conductor Margaret Campbelle-Holman, started the concert with I-She-0-Lu-Wah, a Liberian chant followed by a Negro spiritual, My Lord, What a Morning. 

The Fisk Jubilee Singers sung Negro Spirtuals such as Oh, Holy Lord and The Battle of Jericho.

The night ended on I, Too, Sing, composed by Jonathan Bailey Holland. The piece featured singers from all three groups. The song’s main theme is what humanity should all strive to bring out — love from one another.

Photo courtesy of Lipscomb University

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