American Gospel is a weekly program hosted by Maria A. Ellis, the conductor of The Sheldon’s All-Star Chorus.

March 5: Small Groups in Gospel – Join Maria as she celebrates small groups, usually performing “quartet music”, which are a staple in gospel. Enjoy selections from The Canton Spirituals, Lee Williams and the Spiritual QC’s, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, and others.

February 26: Back to the Beginning – Where did this hand-clapping, foot-stomping music come from? This week, Maria disccuses the roots of this American-made genre of music and shares performances by Thomas Dorsey, Mahalia Jackson, and James Cleaveland.

February 19: All About the Hymns – The word “hymn” means song of praise, and this week Maria features in-studio guest Sandra Wesley, along with some of the most well-known hymns of all time. Will your favorite make the list?

February 12: Sing Out! The choir is backbone of the gospel experience, so we celebrate the choir masters of the Gospel world with works from The Mississippi Mass Choir, The Dallas Fort Worth Mass Choir, and the Chicago Mass Choir.

February 5: What is American Gospel? This premiere episode of this exciting new program features works from Hezekiah Walker, Mississippi Mass Choir, and Edwin Hawkins.

Maria A. Ellis is a music educator and choral conductor with more than 20 years of choral music experience. She has been called a “master educator and a force of nature” by Dr. Jim Henry, University of Missouri- St. Louis. Ms. Ellis has served as the Arts and Administrative Fellow for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, worked for the St. Louis Children’s Choirs and is the Founding Conductor of The Sheldon Concert Hall and Art Galleries’ City of Music All-Star Chorus.