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Sacred Music Exhibit

by Beth McDonald on 2020-02-03T12:53:00-08:00 in Archives & Special Collections | Comments

The Gerth Archives and Special Collections presents “Will the Circle Be Unbroken: The Sacred Music of the African American Diaspora,” an exhibition that explores the role that local African American musicians and their music has played in the cultural institutions of Los Angeles’ black communities. The exhibit will open Feb. 3 in the CSUDH Library Cultural Arts Center.

Donated to the Gerth Archives by Albert McNeil, founder of the celebrated Los Angeles-based choral music ensemble the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers, and Hansonia Caldwell, emeritus professor of music at CSUDH, the exhibit will also showcase the way music has impacted politics, social structures, and the history of African Americans in Los Angeles and the surrounding area. 

Opening Reception: The Gerth Archives will host a reception for the exhibit Feb. 20, from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. in the CSUDH Library Cultural Arts Center. The event will also honor McNeil and celebrate his 100th birthday with a performance by the Jubilee Singers. 

“Will the Circle Be Unbroken: The Sacred Music of the African American Diaspora” has been curated from the collections that make up CSUDH’s African Diaspora Sacred Music and Musicians (ADSMM) program, and the Georgia and Nolan Payton Archive of Sacred Music. The exhibit is sponsored by Sallyanne Payton, one of the founders of the ADSMM and the Payton archive.

The Payton archive consists of music, books, periodicals, documents, audio and visual materials, posters, and photographs from notable figures in L.A.’s music world, including McNeil, Caldwell, and (deceased) Los Angeles music icons Don Lee White, and Jester Hairston.

The materials in the collections are available for research in the CSUDH Gerth Archives and Special Collections. Additional information about the collections, including finding aids, are available at

For more information, please visit our Current Exhibitions webpage→ or contact Beth McDonald or Greg Williams at (310) 243-2431.

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