Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Harry T. Burleigh Society: Meet Dartisha Mosley: A Fisk Jubilee Singer

Dartisha Mosley

Harry T. Burleigh Society

Meet Dartisha Mosley:
Fisk Jubilee Singers®

Tell us about yourself and your musical background.

I grew up in Aurora, IL, the City of Lights. For as long as I could remember, I was singing. Every opportunity to sing or perform filled me with excitement, and I was committed. Throughout grade school and high school, I was a regular participant in talent shows and theatre productions. At my alma mater, East Aurora High School, I sang with our honors chorus and became an active member of the Tri-M Music National Honor Society where I worked to celebrate and bring music to all students in my district through concerts, plays, and musicals. I enrolled at Fisk University in the Fall of 2016 and began my first lessons in Classical Voice and pedagogy under the tutelage of Ms. Gwendolyn Brown, M.M.
What made you want to be a member of the Fisk Jubilee Singers®?

When I walked onto the campus of Fisk University, my eyes immediately caught sight of the beautiful, majestic Jubilee Hall. The Original Fisk Jubilee Singers selflessly gave their all to sustain their institution and for scholars like me who would follow after and reap the fruit of all they endured. When I came to understand the magnitude of their sacrifice, perseverance, and faith, my heart was moved. I wanted to be a Fisk Jubilee Singer to continue a rich legacy of love, selflessness, and music that moves the spirit and soothes the soul. Their sacrifice is not only encased within the walls of Jubilee Hall, nicknamed “frozen music,” but also within my heart and in every note I sing.
What do you hope to learn and experience in your time as a Singer?

Above all, I hope to continue learning about the lives of the original Fisk Jubilee Singers and to carry on the knowledge of the sacred Spirituals they revealed to the world through singing. I want to continue to grow in my musicianship and enjoy my time performing with my fellow members of this year’s ensemble.

What are your future plans?

During my time at Fisk 
University, I have 
found grounding in the 
disciplines of English 
and Music with 
concentration in Voice. 
As a dual major, I am 
able to weave these 
two art forms 
together and find a 
deeper understanding 
of the music that speaks to 
a particular people or 
cultural group. After 
finding my passion for 
Ethnomusicology and 
Vocal performance, 
my educational and 
professional goals are 
focused towards earning 
a Ph. D. and branding 
myself in the field 
of professional vocal 
performance. As a 
first-generation student, 
the opportunity to study 
at an institution of higher 
learning is unique in 
the history of my 
family. Through 
perseverance and 
determination, I held 
onto my dreams of 
being all I can be. Fisk 
has made it possible 
for me to reach 
 heights I could have 
never foreseen.

Fisk Jubilee Singers® Sing 

Harry T. Burleigh Spirituals

March 2nd 2019
Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall
The Harry T. Burleigh Society 
and the Fisk Jubilee 
Singers® join in a historic 
performance celebrating 
Ella Sheppard (1851–
1915), an original Fisk 
Jubilee Singer, and Harry 
T. Burleigh (1866–1949), 
leaders of the concert 
spiritual tradition. The 
Fisk Jubilee Singers® 
will perform the music 
of these under-heard 
cultural leaders, and 
make calls for freedom.

More Than the Promise of the 
American Myth: Rethinking 
Burleigh & Sheppard 
in the Second Gilded Age

March 3rd, 2019
May Room - Weill Terrace Room, Carnegie Hall
9am - 3pm
The Harry T. Burleigh Society's 
first academic conference 
considers Burleigh's and 
Sheppard's impact on the 
concert spiritual genre, the 
historiographic limits of 
composer biography, Black 
art music aesthetics, 
and the liberatory 
capabilities within the 
work of Burleigh, 
Sheppard, and their 
contemporaries. Dr. 
Daphne Brooks will 
deliver the keynote 
address. Other 
speakers include 
Dr. Louise Toppin, 
baritone Kenneth 
Overton, Dr. Crystal 
deGregory and 
descendants of 
Burleigh and Sheppard. 

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