Christmas at America’s First Cathedral features six original songs for chorus by renown choral composer Rosephanye Powell, including an a cappella spiritual “Have You Seen the Baby Jesus” performed by exhilarating soprano Janice Chandler Eteme. All songs are performed by the  Baltimore Choral Arts Chorus & Orchestra.  Tom Hall, conductor; Jim Kessler, orchestrator.  Free bonus DVD included!

In addition to familiar seasonal music by Mendelssohn, Handel, Rutter, and others, Christmas at America’s First Cathedral features music from South Africa, Canada, and the United States, including the premiere recordings of seven new works by two of America’s most important African American composers, Dr. Rosephanye Powell and Dr. James Lee III. Dr. Lee’s motet, “A Clean Heart” is from a collection of four motets composed in 2009. The six selections by Dr. Powell comprise a suite called, Christmas Give, commissioned by Baltimore Choral Arts and given its world premiere December 1, 2009 at the Baltimore Basilica.

The bonus DVD includes selections from that concert, including Dr. Powell reading two poems and interviews with Tom Hall about the program and its historic venue.  Recorded in the resonant acoustics of America’s first Cathedral, the Baltimore Basilica.