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Vocalist, pianist, perform at University of Pittsburgh concert series

Mary Pickels
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Pianist Jee Sook Cha will perform at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg on Feb. 15 as part of the Joan Chambers Concert Series.
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Soprano Shana Mashego will perform for the Joan Chambers Concert Series at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg on Feb. 15.

Internationally renowned soprano Shana Mashego will present a concert featuring Negro spirituals, Christian hymns and art songs during her Feb. 15 performance for the Joan Chambers Concert Series at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg.

Nationally recognized pianist Jee Sook Cha, a long-time Mashego collaborator, will accompany her during the 7:30 p.m. concert in the Mary Lou Campana Chapel and Lecture Center.

The concert series is free and open to the public.

“The Negro Spiritual is unbelievably important to the fiber of American music. It is known as the first American song form and speaks to the pain and the hope of the slave,” says Mashego.

“These songs are internationally known and are very dear to me due to the duality of the slaves’ Christian experiences and the African melodies on which they are based. Slaves used the Scriptures that they heard being recited by their masters or at places of worship and connected them to songs based on the melodies in their hearts that came from their homes,” she adds.

Hymns, part of the English Church tradition, are also a form of global language that people from different countries recognize through the melodies and words, Mashego says.

Mashego is founder of the Dr. Shana Mashego & The Sacred Ensemble , a collective of classical musicians devoted to the performance and preservation of the global Christian hymn.

Rounding out the performance will be a few of Florence Price’s Art Songs, which speak to the plight of the African American post-slavery, with Sook Cha performing solos.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, [email protected] or via Twitter @MaryPickels.