NATS Hall Johnson Spirituals Competition

Held every two years as part of the NATS National Conference

HALL-JOHNSON-HEADSHOT_175px.jpgFrom the sponsor: The purpose of this competition is to restore authenticity to the performance of the classically-arranged Spiritual, one of America’s unique contributions to world culture. Characteristics of Gospel and Jazz, styles that developed later but are far more popular and ubiquitous, have so corrupted Spiritual performance that authentic practice is in danger of being lost. The competition seeks further to promote the truth that Spirituals, like Art Songs, can be successfully performed by all people, not only by the African Americans who created them, and require only the same study that one devotes to any art song or aria. The competition wishes to encourage high excellence in the performance of this genre, and to this end, the Hall Johnson Collection at Rowan University will provide a cash award of $2000 for the best performance of a Hall Johnson Spiritual at the biennial national convention from 2016–2036.

Official Repertoire

The official selections for this competition are listed below and are available in these sources:

  1. Carl Fischer Hall Johnson Collection
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Hall-Johnson-Collection-Book/dp/0825849640
    (Note that additional selections are included in this collection that are not eligible for this competition)

  2. Hal Leonard Digital Series – Hall Johnson Concert Spirituals
    http://www.sheetmusicdirect.us/search/search.action?keywords=Hall+Johnson&instrumentId=273|&page=1
    (Note that each selection is available in two keys) NATS and the Hall Johnson Estate are grateful for the assistance of Richard Walters and Hal Leonard Corp. for making available these previously inaccessible works.)

Repertoire List*

All music is available in the Carl Fischer “Hall Johnson Collection” (CF) or the Hal Leonard Digital Series, “Hall Johnson Concert Spirituals” (HL)

  • Ain’t Got Time to Die - HL
  • City Called Heaven - HL
  • Crucifixion - CF
  • Ev’ry Time I Feel de Spirit - HL
  • Fix Me, Jesus - HL
  • Give Me Jesus - CF
  • His Name So Sweet - CF
  • Honor! Honor! - CF
  • I Been in de Storm So Long - HL
  • I Got To Lie Down - CF
  • I’m Gon’ter Tell God All o’ my Troubles - CF
  • Le’s Have a Union - HL
  • My God is So High - HL
  • My Good Lord Done Been Here - CF
  • Oh, Glory! - CF
  • Po’ Mo’ner Got a Home at Las’ - HL
  • Ride On, King Jesus!- CF
  • Roll Jerd’n, Roll - HL
  • Take My Mother Home - CF
  • Wade in de Water - HL
  • Witness - CF

*All works are annotated and analyzed in “The Concert Spirituals of Hall Johnson: An Annotated Guide to Interpretation and Performance,” by Eugene Thamon Simpson, available September 2015. 

Eligibility

This competition will only take place in years leading up to a national conference in the summer of even years. Region auditions occur throughout the year with some regions holding the regional auditions in the Fall of the preceding year. 

Category

Length of Study

Age Limit

Time

Repetoire: All repertoire is sung from memory

Hall Johnson Spiritual Competition

No limit 

17-23 (college undergraduate)

10 minutes

Three contrasting selections from Hall Johnson spiritual repertoire. 

All interested performers will apply for this category as part of regional student auditions with the top five regional singers advancing to the NSA rounds as with all other categories.  For regions without regional auditions an at-large online category will be made available.  Chapters are also eligible and encouraged to add this competition to chapter auditions. Where applicable Chapter auditions serve as qualifying rounds for advancement into region auditions.

Past Winners of the Hall Johnson Spirituals Competition

2016

  • First Place: Corinthia Sims (Mid-Atlantic Region, student of Lori Hicks)
  • Second Place: Prentiss Mouton (Southern Region, student of Loraine Sims)
  • Third Place: Stephan Wilson (Great Lakes Region, student of LaToya Lain)

 

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