Fisk Jubilee Singers Hold Star Studded Benefit - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Fisk Jubilee Singers Hold Star Studded Benefit

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For the first time, Fisk Jubilee Singers held a benefit with Wynonna Judd and Michael McDonald.

Their songs tell the story of the past and give an insight of a time many of us would never dare revisit.

The Negro spiritual is a record book of days gone by and there are few groups that tell the story better than the Fisk Jubilee Singers.

It all started more than 140 years ago, in 1871 when nine students from Fisk University set out on a mission to raise money for their school, "left Nashville, traveled around the country, traveled around the world just to establish a legacy," said director Dr. Paul Kwami.

That legacy helped build the university's first permanent structure that still stands today.

"Being a Jubilee Singer is big shoes to fill "it's heavy walking up to the building and being overwhelmed and think, I am a part of this legacy and I must up hold its importance," said Jubilee Singer Audrey Tillis.

The junior from Dallas, Texas says what the first set of Jubilee Singers sacrificed for their university is a lot to live up to, but more than a century later; she is doing her part for the next generation for singers.

"I realized we need to simply prepare for the future so that students who become Fisk Jubilee Singers would not have to worry about money," said Tillis.

For first time in director Dr. Paul Kwami's nearly 20 year tenure as the leader of the ensemble, the group is once again raising money for its future.

"Our program is fine, but this is just a way for us to make sure that in future, the Jubilee program will remain very strong," said Kwami.

The group - along with some special guests - will perform at Fontanel Mansion.

"The legacy must remain strong and if we must remain standing on it and if we can connect our history; Fisk itself, with the community and the world at large, again, what kind of imprint will that leave on the next generation," said Tillis.

The Jubilee Singers sold out Friday night benefit concert at Fontanel Mansion and guests include Wynonna Judd, Keb' Mo' & Friends and Michael McDonald,

Dr. Kwami is hoping to make this an annual event.

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