Back in 1927, Morehouse College Glee Club director Kemper Harreld and Spelman College president Florence Matilda Read thought it would be a great idea to give the Atlanta community a Christmas gift of music.
The glee clubs for both colleges, along with one at Atlanta University, would do a free Christmas concert together for the entire community. Harreld was also the also the director of the Spelman College Glee Club.
So on Dec. 21, 1927, in the newly built Sisters Chapel (which was the largest chapel of the three institutions at the time), the first Christmas Carol Concert thrilled a huge crowd.
Eighty-five years later, the concert has grown from a one-performance affair into a soaring trifecta, alternating over three days on both the Morehouse and Spelman campuses. It also has become, for many, the
musical beginning of the Christmas season.
“Some people say they’ve been going to the concert all of their lives,” said Morehouse’s Glee Club director David Morrow ’80, who also performed in the concert each year when he was a member of the Glee Club. “It’s a performance that we look forward to. It’s such a wonderful tradition.”