On Father’s Day 2020, VocalEssence gathered family and friends around the country to sing for justice in a livestream with song leaders from coast to coast. Envisioned and created by VocalEssence Associate Conductor G. Phillip Shoultz, III, this event was a joy-filled, family friendly celebration with songs that honor fathers and the father figures in all our lives and songs that demand our attention and call us into action.
“As a Black musician in a classical music scene mostly occupied by White people, I was searching for a vocational response to the recent resurgence of a systemic problem–violence against my (Black) people, ” said G. Phillip Shoultz, III. “I created this event in partnership with Black leaders in our community and leaders of our nation’s most prominent singing organizations as a way to honor Black fathers and father figures, celebrate Black families, and stand in solidarity as we demand justice and an end to systemic racism. I want to see 10,000 people singing together this Father’s Day. As a father to two young children, I can think of no better way to spend the day.”
Phillip engaged rockstar song leaders from each corner of the United States (Melanie DeMore in Oakland, Jason Max Ferdinand in Huntsville, Alysia Lee in Baltimore, and Phillip in Minneapolis). In addition to singing, audiences enjoyed extraordinary featured performances from:
- The Aeolians of Oakwood University, named the “2017 Choir of the World” in the World Choir Games;
- EXIGENCE, a Sphinx professional vocal ensemble highlighting artistry within Black and Latinx communities;
- Jovonta Patton, two-time Billboard Gospel chart-topper.
DONATE TO AALF
This event was in partnership with the Minneapolis-based African American Leadership Forum (AALF), a nonprofit comprised of over 1,500 African Americans who volunteer their time, talents and treasure to support our mission to build a just society that works well for everyone. AALF is currently serving as a hub organization that is directing funds designated for Economic Recovery to Black-led organizations for dispersement. Donate here: https://www.givemn.org/organization/African-American-Leadership-Forum