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Choir performs for Black History Month

To celebrate Black History Month, California State University, Monterey Bay invites the public to a free musical performance by the group Voices of Freedom.

The hourlong concert will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 8, in the Music Hall on Sixth Avenue, near the intersection with Butler Street. Driving directions and a campus are available at

Oakland-based Voices of Freedom is comprised of members of church choirs, students and faculty at several Bay Area colleges as well as members of the community.

The program, “Get Your Shout On,” will include ancient Yoruba chants from West Africa, and will demonstrate how Negro spirituals derived from those chants. The program will end with a re-creation of a ring-shout, a feature of the “invisible” church of enslaved Africans and their American-born descendants. Singing, dancing and percussion are involved; the audience will be invited to participate.

The choir is accompanied by a battery of batá (sacred) drums, led by master drummer Otobaji Stewart. Voices of Freedom’s founder and executive director Wanda Ravernell – a former editor and writer at the San Francisco Chronicle – will provide historical and spiritual context for the music.

For more information, contact Professor Umi Vaughan at 582-3116.