AU UI Black Chorus Davis

Dr. Ollie Watts Davis leads a rehearsal of the University of Illinois Black Chorus on Monday, March 4, 2019, at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana.

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URBANA —The University of Illinois Black Chorus is set to present its 2019 Annual Fall Concert, “Yet With a Steady Beat Since 1619.”

The concert, set for 3 p.m. Sunday in Foellinger Great Hall at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, is a continuation of the celebration of the choir’s 51-year legacy of campus, national and international musical performances, led for the past 40 years by Professor Ollie Watts Davis.

The chorus was founded in 1968, receiving the co-sponsorship of the African-American Cultural program and the School of Music Choral Division the next year.

The afternoon’s offerings will include spirituals, recitations, hymns, anthems, traditional and contemporary gospel songs written by K. Edward Copeland, Brian Courtney Wilson, V. Michael McKay and A. Jeffrey LaValley, among others.

A special “we remember” tribute will be paid to Legacy Artist Minister Thomas Whitfield, who was here in the late ’80s, and combined musical styles from jazz, classical and traditional gospel.

The concert is presented with support from the School of Music and Krannert Center.

Tickets are $15 and can be bought by calling the box office at 217-333-6280 or going online to