Freedom Song: When Gospel Came to the Empire

24 Mar 6pm
Freedom Song: When Gospel Came to the Empire 24 Mar 6pm

Freedom Song – When Gospel Came to the Empire by Harvey Brough (music) and Justin Butcher (words).

In 1871 a group of singers from Nashville, Tennessee, took to the road to raise money for their university. But this was no ordinary student choir. The Fisk Jubilee Singers were freed slaves. Their mission was not only to build the first black University after emancipation but to fight for the right of all African Americans to be educated.

 Facing down racial abuse and physical hardship, they introduced the world to plantation spirituals, “songs of sorrow” never before heard in public. They toured the USA and Europe, where, incredibly, they serenaded Queen Victoria and performed in concert halls and cathedrals across Britain. They sang in Hackney and went on to thrill audiences around the world.

They remain beacons of the civil rights movement 150 years on.   In Freedom Song, two local community choirs are joined by a professional band and soloists on a musical journey which celebrates the power of music to overcome oppression and bring people from all backgrounds together.

Hackney Empire

£35 -£10  (plus £1 per ticket online, £1.25 per ticket over the phone).


Running Time : Approximately two hours, including one twenty minute interval

Cast & Creative Team

Harvey BroughDirected by
Justin Butcher Mr George White
Samuel WestAbraham Lincoln/Gladstone and others
Emily Dankworth Soprano - Soloists
Christina Gill Mezzo - Soloists
Wills Morgan Tenor - Soloists
Michael Henry Bass -Soloists
Finn Peters Sax/Flutes
Mike Outram Guitar
Liam Dunachie Piano/Hammond
Neil Charles Bass
Nic France Drums
Hackney Empire Choir Hackney Empire Choir director Joseph Roberts
Vox Holloway Choir

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