Black Sacred Music Symposium

Presented by the University of Illinois Black Chorus
Dr. Ollie Watts Davis, Director and Professor of Voice

Black Sacred Music Symposium XIV
Thursday March 7 - Sunday, March 10, 2019

Black ChorusRegistration Opens February 1
Online registration closes March 1

The Black Sacred Music Symposium, presented by the University of Illinois Black Chorus, was founded in 1991 by Dr. Ollie Watts Davis, Professor of Voice. This four-day, biennial conference is dedicated to the study of Black Sacred Music traditions.

The conference provides participants with methods necessary to expand both their performance of the music and understanding of its message. Participants learn from a distinguished faculty of musicians and perform with them in the classroom and in concert. Seminar topics range from the history and development of the African American sacred music traditions, including congregational singing, folk and concert spirituals, metered and improvised hymns, anthems, and traditional gospel expressions, to choral decorum, choral conducting, and vocal and instrumental techniques. Additionally, participants attend musical rehearsals and join the artist faculty in a closing concert of repertoire learned during the Symposium weekend.

Conference Cost:

$50 per individual
$400 per choir/group up to 15 members
Note: Group registration is unavailable online. Please contact Brianna Tyler at for information regarding registering your group.

Invited Faculty Artists:

  • Quandra Clark
  • Kenneth Edward Copeland
  • Ashley Davis
  • Harold Davis
  • Clifford Dotson
  • Kimberly Fullerton-Smith
  • A. Jeffrey LaValley
  • Walter Owens
  • Casey Robards
  • Brian Courtney Wilson
  • John David Wright