Albert McNeil began working in church music when he was 18 at the People's Independent Church of Christ in L.A., a mega-church with 5,000 members and four choirs. Soon the prodigy choral director assembled a double quartet that called itself the McNeil Jubilee Singers, patterned after the Fisk Jubilee Singers — the earliest of black gospel choirs, coming from Fisk University, founded in 1865. In 1968, the group formally became the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers, with a singular mission: “To deliver to the world the history, beauty and majesty of the Negro spiritual.” Today, McNeil — head of the department of music education and the choral program at UC Davis — is recognized as the world's foremost proponent of the spiritual as concert music, and his Jubilee Singers are unequaled as a choral group of intensity, purity and clarity. And, of course, sheer ebullience; as McNeil notes, “Jubilee singing is a cappella, in a joyous style.” Feel the spirit this weekend when this amazing ensemble performs traditional and contemporary spirituals and other works by African-American composers as part of Pasadena Presbyterian Church's Celebration Day. Pasadena Presbyterian Church, 585 E. Colorado Blvd.; Sun., June 24, 4:30 p.m.; $20 donation. (626) 793-2191,

Sun., June 24, 4:30 p.m., 2012

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