Released in August, 2003, Come Down Angels is part of The Art of the Negro Spiritual series of performances.
"The Art of the Negro Spiritual is a research project studying the history of art song settings of Negro Spirituals," stated Jones, who is also the project's lead researcher. "The result of the project will be a book of the same title."
"Our goal is to develop a primary source for singers, teachers, and musicologists. The book will discuss the history of the Negro spiritual, biographies of composers and performers, a bibliography of other relevant resources, a discography and an analysis of published scores. Most importantly, we want to discuss the ways these art songs should be performed that is stylistically consistent with the roots of the spiritual.
"'Come Down Angels' is the first step in the process. We hope to produce other recordings of Negro spirituals set for solo voice, in addition to publishing the book. There are many wonderful works out there that challenge the vocalist both technically and on a personal level. Students and voice teachers are looking for this music, but it is not always easy to find or understand how to perform it. I hope that The Art of the Negro Spiritual will address some of that."
Randye Jones received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Bennett College, Greensboro, North Carolina, where she was named to "Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities." She completed her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Florida State University, Tallahassee, where she studied with Barbara Ford and Enrico Di Giuseppe. She served as a music cataloger for the Florida State University Libraries before accepting a library manager position at The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. In addition to her ongoing research on "The Art of the Negro Spiritual," she created and maintains the much-cited Web site, Afrocentric Voices in "Classical" Music. Her professional affiliations include: the National Association of Negro Musicians, the Recording Academy, and the Washington Area Music Association.
Francis Conlon received both his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Catholic University of America. He has played in New York City at Carnegie Recital Hall, and in Washington at such notable sites as the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Library of Congress. He has performed with several orchestras, including the Washington Chamber Orchestra, the Montreal Chamber Orchestra, and the Washington Sinfonia. His awards include the National Society of Arts and Letters competition and the Jordan Awards Contest in Washington. He has served as official accompanist for the National Symphony Young Soloist Competition, the National Opera Institute Auditions, and the National Federation of Music Clubs Contest. His teaching duties include his current position on the music faculty of The George Washington University in Washington.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Steal Away
2. Come Down Angels (Trouble the Water)
3. Deep River
4. 'Roun' about de Mountain
6. Sweet Little Jesus Boy
7. Roll, Jerd'n, Roll
8. This Little Light of Mine
10. Free at Last
11. Done Made My Vow
12. Jesus Lay Your Head in the Window
13. Ride on, Jesus
14. He's Got the Whole World in His Hand