Implemented in 1991 by distinguished University of Illinois professor of music and Black Chorus conductor, Dr. Ollie Watts Davis. The Black Sacred Music Symposium focuses on strengthening musicianship and acquiring individual artistry by exploring the unique treatment the elements of vocal music by Black Americans in a choral setting. The curricular offerings investigate the challenges of music selection, preparation and presentation. The format structure includes plenary addresses, parallel seminars, and paper sessions; evening rehearsals and interludes led by guest artists; and informal talks and testimonials from delegates who are actively engaged through scholarship, service and practice. Throughout the conference, ample time is allowed for interactions with others seeking mature understanding of the service role of music.
The Sixteenth Biennial Black Sacred Music Symposium conference, February 16-19, 2023, at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.