“Festival of Spirituals” celebrates Black History Month through song

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Using the power of music, 4 choirs from Oakwood University, Clark Atlanta University, Alabama A & M University, and Central State University blended their voices, to celebrate Black History Month,

The Festival of Sprituals, held at the Oakwood University church this afternoon, happens only once every two years. It's a tradition that was started back in the 1970s.

The director of the Oakwood University Aeolians and organizer of Sunday's event, Jason Ferdinand, says beyond the rich rhythm, these songs send powerful reminders.  "The negro spiritual got the slaves through painful times and to get through, the songs are just filled with so many messages, so many things of hope that was basically all they had at one point in life." says Ferdinand.

He says it's a message that hasn't lost its significance over time. "What's going on, calamities, terror attacks, everything else, political stuff going on to let freedom speak to whatever that situation is," he says.

Maureen Sylvester, who attended the concert, says it's a lesson on what's truly important. "To be more loving, more caring, that you do not look at color, you look at people for who they are," she says.

It just goes to show, harmony isn't just for musicians. "All of us are free, blacks, whites, latinos, we can all hold hands and walk together," says Ferdinand.

The next "Festival of Spirituals" will be held in 2018.

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