Founded in 1977 at Cornell, the purpose of the Festival of Black Gospel is to promote cultural awareness while celebrating the inspirational and uplifting musical genre known as Gospel. In this effort, we have continued the legacy in an annual program that fosters and encourages spiritual, cultural, and intellectual awareness within the Cornell, IC, and Greater Central New York communities.
The three-day festival serves as an outlet to educate everyone about the heritage of the African Diaspora. The program consists of a Friday evening kick-off program; a Saturday mass choir workshop during the day, and that evening, a concert featuring an internationally recognized Gospel artist and collegiate choirs from Upstate NY region. Sunday concludes the Festival with a worship service featuring a dynamic guest speaker and music ministry, celebrating the end of a great weekend!
Cornell University has been the primary host of the Festival since its inception. Ithaca College has participated in many aspects of the weekend, but became an official partner of FBG in 2007 and began to co-sponsor the event in 2011 through its campus choir, the Amani Gospel Singers.
The Festival of Black Gospel's true success has been it town-gown relationship with the Greater Ithaca community. FBG seeks to continually bridge the gap between the campus communities and the local community. Community members have been involved in several aspects of the weekend, including its planning, participation in the FBG Mass Choir, speaking at the Sunday closing service (Rev. Nathaniel Wright, Rev. Sonya Hicks, etc.) and even headlining the Festival's concert (Sis. Stephanie Bibbie).
PAST FBG ARTISTS
The Clark Sisters
John P. Kee
Haitian Mass Choir
Keith "Wonderboy" Johnson
Kenny Curry & Nu Spirit
John Rawlins III
...and many more!
*FBG's First Mass Choir Director