The world-renowned singing group that gave Nashville its moniker of “The Music City” will be performing on Sunday, April 2, in Fremont as part of President Rutherford B. Hayes’ 200th Birthday Celebration.
The Fisk Jubilee Singers from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, will give a public concert at Grace Lutheran Church, 705 W. State St., Fremont. Hayes Presidential is bringing the group to Fremont as one of the major events in the on-going commemoration of President Hayes’ 200th birthday, which was Oct. 4, 2022.
The concert will begin at 3 p.m. Light refreshments will be served after the performance.
Tickets are $10 for ages 18 and older, $5 for ages 13-17 and free for kids 12 and younger. Tickets will be sold online at rbhayes.org.
The Fisk Jubilee Singers are students at Fisk University and have sung for audiences worldwide since the original group was formed in 1871 to help raise money for the university. At that time, Fisk was the only university that offered a liberal arts education to young men and women irrespective of their race, and it was struggling to stay open.
The original Fisk Jubilee Singers introduced ‘slave songs’ to the world and were instrumental in preserving this unique American musical tradition known today as spirituals.
They broke racial barriers in the United States and abroad in the late 19th century. They sang for U.S. presidents and, in Europe, entertained kings and queens. During their first tour of Europe in 1873, they raised more than $150,000 for Fisk University. This money was used to build Jubilee Hall, the first permanent building int eh South used for educating African Americans.
One of the presidents for whom they sang was President Hayes. They came to Spiegel Grove for two days in May 1882.
Hayes noted their visit in his diary. Although he did not specify what they sang or where they performed at the Grove, he noted that they made an excellent impression on him.
“We are thrilled to have the Fisk Jubilee Singers return to Fremont,” said Christie Weininger, Haye Presidential executive director. “Not only are they an outstanding musical ensemble, but their institutional history and connection to Spiegel Grove makes their performance very meaningful.”
The Fisk Jubilee Singers received the National Medal of the Arts in 2008, have been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, Music City Walk of Fame and have received the Tennessee governor’s Folklife Heritage Award.
President Hayes 200th Birthday Celebration is sponsored by Croghan Colonial Bank. For a schedule of birthday celebration events, visit rbhayes.org/rbh200.