The Art of the Concert Spiritual (ACS) is a research project that is looking into the rich history of the Negro spiritual as written for solo vocal performance. The research is centered around the development of Negro spirituals from the folk music of enslaved Africans in the United States to the art songs set for performance on the concert stage.

Like its predecessor, The Art of the Negro Spiritual (ANS), the primary goal of this project is to gather into a series of books and other print and online resources relevant information for the singer, vocal teacher, and musicologist. The first book, So You Want to Sing Spirituals, was published by Rowman and Littlefield in October, 2019. More information about the book and how to order it is available on the So You Want to Sing Spirituals page.

The second book is scheduled to be published shortly by McFarland. For more information, please visit the Recorded Solo Concert Spirituals, 1916-2022, page.

Topics of ACS research include:

  • History of the Negro spiritual
  • Biographies of composers and performers
  • Bibliography of resources
  • Discography of commercial recordings

Other projects are also underway. Go to the Other ACS Projects page to get more information.

Soprano and researcher Randye Jones in performance and lecturing

If you have questions or comments about The Art of the Concert Spiritual, please contact Randye Jones at Thanks for visiting!