Fisk Jubilee Singers Receive $1.5M Gift to Create Permanent Endowment

By: Kelton Brooks

The Fisk Jubilee Singers received a $1.5 million anonymous donation to establish an endowment.  

Fisk, a Historically Black College and University in Nashville, Tennessee, announced on Thursday, Sept. 2, that the gift was one of the most significant donations ever made to the Fisk Jubilee Singers.   

The Jubilee singers are a vocal group at Fisk University whose tradition dates back 150 years. The historical singers also earned their first Grammy Award earlier this year.   

The musical lifestyle started in 1871 as a set of college students who sang slave spirituals at public performances to raise funds for the college. Over time, their singers have preserved music created by African slaves while serving as ambassadors for the HBCU. 

Related: NBA Veteran JR Smith Joins North Carolina A&T Golf Team 

Nashville’s nickname of “Music City” comes from the Jubilee Singers.  

The Jubilee Singers performed for the Queen of England in the 1800s. The singers sang so well that the queen said the Fisk Jubilee Singers must come from a “Music City.”  

The $1.5 million will establish an endowed fund, which will be named after longtime musical director and alumnus of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, Paul T. Kwami.   

“This donation provides a wonderful lead gift, and we are hopeful many others will follow in this historic year,” Kwami said.  

Related: Grambling State University Names a Female Drum Major 

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