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Members of the American Spiritual Ensemble

The critically acclaimed American Spiritual Ensemble was founded in 1995 to preserve and continue the tradition of storytelling through the performance and preservation of the American negro spiritual. Performing these spirituals serves as a tribute to the many lives lost or destroyed during slavery in the United States. These songs, a combination of African, American and European traditions, create a new type of melody in which a sense of identification was created within the enslaved community. Beloved around the world, these songs now stand as a testament to the strength found through faith during times of hardship as well as a unifying force among all peoples.

The American Spiritual Ensemble aids in the preservation of these beautiful melodies through provocative, dynamic performances worldwide, as well as through education in the form of lectures, masterclasses and vocal instruction for educational, religious and community institutions worldwide.

Dr. Everett McCorvey has performed in many cities around the world and theaters across the country, including The Metropolitan Opera, the Kennedy Center, Aspen Music Festival, Radio City Music Hall, Birmingham Opera Theater, Teatro Comunale in Florence, Italy, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, as well as performances throughout Europe, Japan, China and South America. He joined the Tony Award-winning Sherwin Goldman Production of Porgy and Bess at Radio City Music Hall in 1982 and was also part of The Metropolitan Opera’s debut production of Porgy and Bess in 1985. McCorvey is the founder and Music Director of the American Spiritual Ensemble, a group of 24 professional singers performing spirituals and other compositions of African American composers dedicated to keeping the American Negro Spiritual alive.

McCorvey’s career has spanned all areas of the performing arts business, from performer to musical director, stage director, voice teacher, producer, impresario, conductor, union representative, administrator and mentor.

He is in his ninth season as Artistic Director of the National Chorale of New York City, an ensemble he conducted, along with the U.S. Army Field Band and Soldiers’ Chorus, at Liberty State Park in New Jersey September 11, 2021 for the 20th anniversary commemoration of the attacks on our country. He is on the opera faculty in the summers at the Bay View Music Festival in Petoskey, MI, and is co-director of the Festival’s American Negro Spirituals Intensive program, a program dedicated to helping young singers learn about American Negro Spirituals.

He has served on the faculty of the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria, and is a frequent guest conductor with the Ocean Grove Choral Music Festival in Ocean Grove, NJ. He holds an Endowed Chair in Opera Studies at the University of Kentucky, where he is Director of Opera and Professor of Voice.

McCorvey believes that every citizen should find ways to give back to their community and to their profession, and, with that in mind, he serves on many local, regional and national boards and committees. In his home state of Kentucky, he is Chairman of the Board of the Kentucky Arts Council, and nationally he is on the Sullivan Foundation Board of Trustees, an organization dedicated to supporting young professional singers with career grants and study awards for continuing development.

In September of 2010, McCorvey served as Executive Producer of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Alltech 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games, which was broadcast on NBC Sports and viewed by more than 500 million people worldwide.

He is married to soprano Alicia Helm. They have three children. everettmccorvey.org.