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Reedy Chapel A.M.E. Church
News Release
Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Reedy Chapel A.M.E. Church Juneteenth Celebration

Saturday, June 19, 2010  2015 Broadway. Celebration begins at 6:00 p.m. with the reading of General Order #3 at the Old Galveston County Courthouse. Participants then march (or drive) from there to Reedy Chapel, just as Galvestonians did in 1866.
A musical will begin at 6:30 p.m. featuring the Galveston heritage Chorale under the direction of Mrs. Izola Collins, the youth choir of Reedy Chapel under the direction of Mrs. Sharon Sampson, and Reedy's Watoto drummers under the direction of Mr. Curt Gillans.
Refreshments will be served after the musical. Guests will have the opportunity to hear Reed Chapel's 187@ Hook Hastings pipe organ. There is no admission charge.
Additional Info:
The Galveston Heritage Chorale was organized in 1992 by Izola Fedford Collins, at the request of several vocal performers. These persons wanted to sing music that was no longer being heard in most communities, but had been the nucleus of concerts in colleges and other institutions. Primarily, this music included African American Spirituals arranged by noted composers of color, unknown to a segregated public, in past years.
Singers from various churches in Galveston County participated, and concerts were given locally, highlighted by performing “The Messiah” by George F. Handel with the Bay Area Chorus and the Galveston Symphony Orchestra at the 1894 Opera House in Galveston. The director of the GHC learned of an annual musical event held in Shreveport, LA, which featured choruses from communities and colleges performing ONLY Negro Spirituals sung without instrumental accompaniment. The GHC participated in 2007 and 2008, receiving a Standing Ovation before Hurricane Ike interrupted our ability to attend.

Pastor of Reedy Chapel A.M.E. Church in Galveston, Texas, the first A.M.E. church in Texas, was James Weldon Randolph. A musician, also, he published the collection of hymns called “Everlasting Joy” in Galveston at Goggan and Bro., 21st and Church Sts.
He was born free in Philadelphia in 1842, and educated there. His honorary doctorate was from Paul Quinn College (Waco, now Dallas, Texas). Dr. Eileen Southern, author of “The Music of Black Americans(3rd ed. 1997)” wrote that Black Methodist minister Marshall W. Taylor (1846-1887) wrote the first collection of hymns and plantation melodies, and arranged Negro spirituals. Dr, Richard Hulan, researcher, comments that “Had she known about J.W. Randolph’s book, it would have been recognized as the second book of this kind, which preceded the A.M.E. Hymnal.” Dr. Hulan discovered the IE Collins' website, and has sent much material to date. Today’s musical offering includes”Reedy’s Chappell” and “Freedom’s Jubilee” from collection”Everlasting Joy”.

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