Drew Peterson, pianist
Josephine Baker
Dr. Adolphus Hailstork, composer

Amazing Grace: Music for the Spirit

PCE rings in 2023 with a new season tradition. We present a stirring program for chorale and orchestra that celebrates the universal expression of the human spirit through music. Amazing Grace, perhaps the most universal of folk hymns, has inspired people all around the world for centuries. Hear versions of it woven throughout the program and join the whole ensemble at the end of the program. Featuring African-American spirituals, and works by Adolphus Hailstork,  William Grant Still, and J. S. Bach.

Adolphus Hailstork, one of the most celebrated American composers, will also join us on stage.


Amazing Grace: Music For The Spirit

Wednesday, January 11, 2023, 7:30pm

Terrace Theater | The Kennedy Center | 2700 F St NW, Washington, DC

Stanley J. Thurston, guest curator

Angeli Ferrette, soprano

Wayne Jennings, tenor

Justin Harrison, bass

CAAPA Chorale  

Andre Leonard, piano

PostClassical Ensemble conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez


  • Spirituals
  • Let Us Break Bread Together                  
  •      arr. Jacqueline Hairston
  • Sweet Little Jesus Boy                              
  •     arr. Stanley Thurston
  • I Can Tell the World                                
  •     arr. Moses Hogan (a cappella)
  • William Grant Still:  Scherzo (“Humor”) from Symphony No. 1
  • Adolphus Hailstork: I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes
  •      I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes
  •      How Long? (w/spoken poetry)*
  •      The Lord Is My Shepherd. Alleluia
  • J.S. Bach: Herz und Mund - Tat und Leben – Cantata BWV 147 
  •       Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben
  •      Bereite dir, Jesu, noch itzo die Bahn
  •      Ich will von Jesu Wundern singen
  •      Jesus bleibet meine Freude
  • John Newton: Amazing Grace                                    
  •      arr. Evelyn Simpson Curenton 

Post-Concert Discussion with Adolphus Hailstork, Stanley J. Thurston, Angel Gil-Ordóñez

Presented without intermission

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What people are saying

So many thanks for that most inspiring, capacious evening. With PCE’s usual ability to surprise and delight… that symphony was astonishing…


Your leadership and dramatic shaping of the Symphony last night was truly masterful - and so inspiring. I know I’ll never forget this experience. Thank you, Maestro!


I loved the intimacy of the ensemble and the aching beauty of the melody repeating and recurring and turning up where I did not expect it .  And I found the quality of the sound thrilling.

That was my take on the concert --that and the tears that it brought to my eyes, simply to be there, to be present at the creation of something so beautiful..


What a perfect PCE evening, wonderful concert and lovely gathering


Angel, You are so musical! I've played the 4th twice, it was the first Mahler I heard as a kid, and I'm invariably disappointed that conductors don't let it breathe.  U nailed it.


Congratulations again to you and your superb ensemble on a wonderful and provocative performance in the Terrace Theater last evening.  As always, we learned something from this concert and it was fun, too.


Everything about it was sheer delight, including the lively and interesting talk at the end…