Twelve Gates to the City


An Anthology of Rural Singing and Preaching Styles in African-American Churches of Southern Maryland

This anthology of rural singing and preaching styles in African-American churches of southern Maryland was recorded on site between October, 2002 and July, 2003 by folklorists Carrie and Michael Kline under the auspices of the Southern Maryland Folklife Project at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. The singing styles of the featured choirs and individuals have flourished in a region where African-American communities date to the 1600s. Shiloh Community United Methodist Church, where most of the recording occurred, is the oldest African-American church in Charles County, Maryland, with beginnings during the height of the American Civil War.

Now, at a time when neighboring churches have moved on to synthesized and electrified instrumental sounds, the music of Shiloh Community and Mt. Calvary United Methodist Churches remains strong and spirited with inspired piano and tambourine accompaniment, hand-clapping and a cappella singing.

Come Let Us Worship the Lord


Twelve Gates to the City


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