Spirituals ring out on Martha’s Vineyard

Spirituals ring out on Martha’s Vineyard

With Jim Thomas at the helm, the spirituals choir responds vigorously.

The Jim Thomas Spirituals Choir brought their joyful, pointed message to lovely, uplifting Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs on July 17. Mr. Thomas is the founder and director of the choir, which is made up of 20 to 30 Islanders, depending on the season. The choir is the performance element of the U.S. Slave Song Project, also founded and run by Mr. Thomas — an educational component that offers an insight into the slave experience. Mr. Thomas introduces each song by describing its provenance and purpose.

The spirituals choir, entirely amateur, performs throughout New England. Earlier this month they sang in the Unitarian Church on Nantucket where Frederick Douglass spoke.