-Courtesy of the Kimmel Cultural Campus
The Kimmel Cultural Campus presents the return of its beloved annual holiday celebration, A Soulful Christmas, the joyful evening of gospel music and beloved holiday songs. To ensure the health and safety of participating artists, the event will be more intimate- with a smaller number of singers participating socially distanced on an extended stage inside its Verizon Hall on Tuesday, December 14, 2021, at 7:30 p.m. This performance is sponsored by PECO.
After a year of intermission, the gathering of talented choir members from across the region returns. Inspired by African diaspora, A Soulful Christmas was created in partnership with Dr. Dumpson following a 2012 collaboration between the Kimmel Cultural Campus, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Heritage Chorale.
The performance will feature the Heritage Chorale, under the direction of Soulful’s Creator, Artistic & Music director Dr. J. Donald Dumpson, as well as community and church-based choirs. This year’s show features the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ and the Finale of Lights.
“For nearly a decade, A Soulful Christmas has been an integral part of the holiday season in Philadelphia, filling Verizon Hall with the spirit of community and the cheer of the holidays,” said Matías Tarnopolsky, president and CEO of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc. “Soulful showcases the unique ability of the arts to unite us. We look forward to bringing neighborhoods, communities, and families together for this special holiday tradition.”
“Our 8th annual celebration of a Soulful Christmas is exactly what our region needs after the year we’ve had,” said Dr. J. Donald Dumpson, Creator, Artistic & Music Director. “With holiday spirituals, gospel favorites, and inspirational messages of goodwill, I’m personally looking forward to gathering – safely – together once again and bringing the audience to their feet in joyous praise.”
The honoree/special guest for this year’s concert is Kathy Taylor, a nationally known Texas-based gospel singer and Minister of Music. An accomplished National Recording Artist, Kathy Taylor has received resounding critical acclaim for her outstanding, soul-stirring, and inspirational performances. She has ministered before Queen Elizabeth, former President Bill Clinton, Senator Hillary Clinton, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Cicely Tyson, Maya Angelou, and many others.
Dr. J. Donald Dumpson is the President of Diverse Arts Solutions, Minister of Music and Arts at Arch Street Presbyterian Church, and he is the founder of Philadelphia Heritage Chorale. He has served with the faculties at various places like Westminster Choir College Rider University, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia’s School District High School for Creative and Performing Arts. In 2018, Dr. Dumpson was the Artistic and Music Director for “The Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul” sponsored by the Pew Foundation. He was also the chorus master of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s premiere of Healing Tones by Hannibal Lokumbe with Maestro Yannick Nezet-Seguin as the conductor.
More information about those choirs and individuals participating in this year’s A Soulful Christmas will be announced soon. Keep an eye on the website and social media for more!
Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999 or online at www.kimmelculturalcampus.org. In-person ticket sales can be conducted daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the Academy of Music Box Office, located at 240 S. Broad Street. See www.kimmelculturalcampus.org for more information.
Masks are required to be worn at all times when on the Kimmel Cultural Campus, except when actively consuming food or beverage in designated locations. Prolonged periods of mask removal are not permitted. All attendees for public events must show proof of full vaccination at the time of entry, with valid photo ID and copy of vaccination card (physical or photo). Proof of negative COVID-19 tests will not be accepted, with the exception of children under the age of 12; children under 12 will be required to show a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours of the event. This policy is subject to change based upon guidance from the CDC and local health authorities.
For more information on the Kimmel Cultural Campus Safe & Clean Commitment, please visit kimmelculturalcampus.org.