Lauretta   Dorsey   Young



"There is nothing wrong with going back to fetch what one has forgotten."  an Ashanti saying

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“Music stirs up hope, joy, vision, expectations.  Brings one from a deep valley to a mountaintop. 
Spirituals tell our story and is relived and hopefully revitalized by all who hear.”







a national treasure especially motivated to
re-invigorate and re-energize



























  I am Lauretta Dorsey Young and I was born into a singing educators’ family.  My mother was a Big Band singer and my father was an educator who played violin and sang in choirs. 

     Lauretta, early in her career

I grew up around music, especially singing.  My relatives and I (as a child) would often rent a bus or pile into an open back truck and go on a picnic.  There would be lots of food and fun and lots of singing.  Someone would start singing and everyone would join in. 

There were tenors, baritones, lots of altos and beautiful high sopranos harmonizing in the most simple and intricate ways.  We would sing spirituals and hymns.  The Spirituals always fascinated me because of the story and the rhythms and the melodies.  I wondered about the background of each and why these songs touched my heart in depth emanating great joy or sorrow or pathos or hope. 

Over the years, as a classical singer, I’ve always included spirituals in my programs which gave a part of my heritage to others of all races and colors.  I’ve found great correlations considering the times of slavery, emancipation, hope, etc. with our times today, i.e. slavery to drugs, alcohol, family dysfunctions, struggle for success, lack of hope and vision.

It is my hope and intention to inform, inspire and educate thru the performance of Spirituals, known and unknown.  Such Spirituals as sung by great artist as Mahalia Jackson, Jubilee Singers of Fisk University, Marian Anderson, Ethel Waters, Leontyne Price, etc.  To bridge and interpolate the spiritual to Jazz and Classical works.

Lauretta Dorsey Young


Designed to break the chains of time and circumstances, while
embracing one's heritage and watching for the stars.

Emotional. Informative. Soothing. Heart-wrenching. Uplifting.


Available for
Conferences, Corporate Functions, Schools, Children's Gatherings, Guest Appearances, Church Functions, Political Meetings, Women's Meetings, History Celebrations and other Special Events





...a world-renowned artist...graduate of the Peabody Conservatory Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, BM...awarded a graduate scholarship to the Julliard School of Music, New York...winner of numerous national and international competitions such a : first place at the International Musikwettbewerve, Munich, Gemany...Silver Medalist at Concours International de Chant, Toulouse, France...has sung for two sitting presidents at the White House, Washington, DC...has sung with such notable conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Antal Dorati, Serguiu Commissiona and Reiner Miedel...currently a teacher of voice at the Baltimore School for the Arts.


The Value of African American History is on the Rise

The Jubilee Singers

An engraving from the 1873 issue of The Illustrated London News after the singers had performed at Willis's Rooms in London. The talented vocal artists introduced "slave songs" to the world and, in many opinions, preserved this music from extinction. Pictured is the expanded group of singers on their second European tour: Minnie Tate, Greene Evans (bass), Isaac P. Dickerson (bass), Jennie Jackson, Maggie Porter, Ella Shepard (pianist), Thomas Rutling (tenor), Benjamin M. Holmes (tenor), and Eliza Walker. Only two, Jennie Jackson and Minnie Tate, were born free; the rest were brought up in slavery till the decree of emancipation. issued

H I S T O R I C A L   O V E R V I E W

        The abolition of slavery in 1863 was commemorated by founding the college in Nashville (1867). In 1871, hoping to raise funds for Fisk University, school treasurer and music teacher Geoff L. White borrowed money and set out with nine student singers for a tour despite the disapproval of the university. Withstanding hardships and indignities, this nameless and almost penniless group persevered against all odds to save their school from bankruptcy and closure. The singers ranged in age from fifteen to twenty-five years and all were former slaves or children of slaves.

        Financially unsuccessful at first, the group abandoned its classical, popular repertoire for powerful, moving spirituals and slave songs. The group also adopted the name of Jubilee Singers, from the biblical reference to the time of jubilee and the freeing of all slaves. The group's manager, George White, was without musical training himself, but he was a fine singer, was dedicated to music, and had the added talent of getting the utmost from his gifted singers. Soon the power and eloquence of their music was entrancing and inspiring audiences, which always cheered for encores.

        After several tours throughout the United States and Europe, the Jubilee Singers eventually raised $150,000, securing the school's future. The funds purchased Fisk's present campus (old Union Fort Gillem) in North Nashville and built Jubilee Hall, the first permanent building in America for the education of blacks (now designated as a national historic landmark). Begun as a free school providing primary through college education for newly freed slaves, Fisk was founded in 1866 by the Congregational Church's American Missionary Association, the Western Freedmen's Aid Commission, and former Union Army General Clinton B. Fisk of the Freedmen's Bureau. Its only buildings at first were abandoned Union Army barracks.

        Each October 6, Fisk celebrates Jubilee Day, commemorating the original Jubilee Singers, who sang before kings, queens, and heads of state; who captured the hearts of all who heard their music; who introduced to the world the beauty and tradition of the Negro spiritual; and who, with steadfastness and commitment, virtually saved their university.


"Greatness Is Measured By What Has Been Overcome."


Available for Special Black History Celebrations, Family Reunions,
Conferences, Schools, Concerts and Special Events

Lauretta Young
Book Her For Your Next Event


Lauretta Young
Box 305, Baltimore, MD 21220
TEL 410.319.9466     FAX 410.729.0353






© 2007 Lauretta Young Performances


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