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CofC Concert of Spirituals, Arias, American Art Songs to Honor African American Trailblazers in Opera and Other Musical Arts



Press Release

The Department of Music at the College of Charleston School of the Arts continues its 2021-2022 CofC Concerts season with a performance honoring contralto Marian Anderson (right, 1897-1993) and bass-baritone/actor/activist Paul Robeson (1898-1976) — two key African American trailblazers in opera and other musical art forms. Having overcome countless barriers in the face of adversity, their talents, tenacity, and powerful voices on and off the stage paved the way for generations of great artists. 

The College’s performance features two of those great artists mezzo-soprano Alexis Davis-Hazell and basso contante Earl Hazell, who will bring history alive through African American Spirituals, American art songs and arias as shared by Anderson and Robeson during their careers. Attendees may recognize music by Copland, Verdi, Kern & Hammerstein, and Flaherty & Ahrens. The Hazell duo’s concerts carry educational components, such as the contributions of African Americans in jazz, opera, poetry, American art songs, Spirituals and other art forms that are part of the cultural make-up of modern American society. Their visit to the College does just that in a public concert on November 1st, with Andrea Molina on piano, and in a masterclass the following day with College of Charleston Opera’s voice students.

Saundra DeAthos-Meers, Director of the College of Charleston Opera, shares, ”I am so excited to have my wonderfully talented friends and colleagues join us for what will be a special evening of music and history. Their stories and artistry will have a profound impact and create a lasting impression on our students and the community.”


The concert titled “Thank you, Marian, Thank you, Paul: A Tribute to Marian Anderson and Paul Robeson” will take place on Monday, Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m., at the Sottile Theatre (44 George St.) Tickets are $25 for adults; $10 for CofC students and youth (18 and under); and $15 for CofC faculty/staff. Purchase tickets online through the George Street Box Office or by emailing, or calling (843) 953-4726. (Patrons can find concert info and ticket links at

The masterclass on Tuesday, November 2nd will take place from 4 pm to 6 pm, at Bethel United Methodist Church, 57 Pitt St. Suggested donation of $5 at the door.

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