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Watch the Black Music Ensemble's Spring Concert (replay)

Heard the BME lately? Watch their spring concert from Berea Baptist Church on our new YouTube channel.

Black Music Ensemble at Berea College

The Berea College Black Music Ensemble was organized during the fall of 1969 by a small group of black students on campus. Members of the Black Student Union, these students wanted to bring their religious culture to Berea, singing the Black spirituals and gospel music of their home churches, and sharing this music with the entire campus and community. With these ideas in mind the 1969 Black Ensemble was formed stating that its goals were to "supplement religious life on campus and give vent to Christian love through song."

Today the Black Music Ensemble is still carrying out the goals set by the founding members. The enrollment has increased to over fifty members form the school and community. Now an active, accredited performing ensemble of the music department, the ensemble performs at the college, surrounding churches and schools in Kentucky and throughout the country. The repertoire includes spirituals, gospel music, West African songs, anthems and other sacred music, all by African-American composers or in the African-American tradition. To date the choir has completed two recordings and assisted in the development of many excellent musicians.


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