“We are delighted that the North Carolina Symphony will return to Fayetteville for its first concert in some time, and we look forward to future concerts at this wonderful venue”

– NCS Chapter Board Chair for Cumberland County, Dwain Joyce

(August 26, 2022, Raleigh, NC) The North Carolina Symphony (NCS) is thrilled to perform a Freedom Celebration Concert in Fayetteville next month. The concert will be held on Thursday, September 15 at 7:30pm in Seabrook Auditorium at Fayetteville State University. Tickets are free but reservations are requested. Visit to claim your ticket.

“We are delighted that the North Carolina Symphony will return to Fayetteville for its first concert in some time, and we look forward to future concerts at this wonderful venue,” affirmed NCS Chapter Board Chair for Cumberland County, Dwain Joyce.

The Freedom Celebration Concert celebrates the many facets of American musical culture that have been created and influenced by African Americans, from the spirituals of enslaved Africans to Ragtime, Jazz, and Classical Music, all while telling the story of liberation. NCS Associate Conductor Michelle Di Russo will lead the orchestra. Guest soloist Micaela Bundy will join the orchestra to open the concert with a performance of the hymn, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” The evening’s program features a new commission from NCS Composer in Residence, Dr. Anthony Kelley, entitled Spirituals of Liberation. The three movements of Spirituals of Liberation explore in musical terms the conditions of forced, free labor, the contemplation of loss and hope by the enslaved, and finally, the solemn embrace by African Americans of their newly granted freedom.

Also included on the Freedom Celebration Concert program are pieces by William Grant Still and George Walker and arrangements that celebrate the contributions of jazz greats Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. The program was first given at Booth Amphitheatre in Cary on June 18, 2022, in commemoration of the Juneteenth holiday. After Fayetteville, it will travel to Elizabeth City State University on Friday, September 16. A selection from Kelley’s Spirituals of Liberation will be part of the NCS’s Education Program repertoire for the 2022/23 academic year.

Dr. Kelley’s residency with NCS is funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The concert in Fayetteville is made possible in part by concert sponsors UNC Health and Norwood and Mary Lynn Bryan and concert supporters BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina and the Tilghman Fowler Lawhead Group of Merrill Lynch. The concert in Elizabeth City is made possible in part by concert sponsor Southern Bank and concert supporter BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina. It is part of the Elizabeth City State University Community Connections: Performance and Lecture Series sponsored by Duke Energy Foundation, First Citizens Wealth Management, Microsoft, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

BOTH CONCERTS ARE FREE TO THE PUBLIC. Tickets are requested. Reserve your tickets at:



Elizabeth City

By phone: 877.627.6724
In person: NCS State Headquarters Offices (3700 Glenwood Ave., Suite 130, Raleigh)



In person: Pilgrim Gifts (160 Westwood Shopping Center); Arts Council of Fayetteville/ Cumberland County (301 Hay Street)

Elizabeth City


Michelle Di Russo, conductor
Micaela Bundy, mezzo-soprano

Johnson/Johnson: “Lift Every Voice and Sing”
Burleigh: Every Time I Feel the Spirit
Anthony Kelley: Spirituals of Liberation (World Premiere)
Still: Festive Overture
Joplin: Maple Leaf Rag
Walker: Lyric for Strings
Various composers / Arr. Ted Ricketts: Satchmo! A Tribute to Louis Armstrong
Ellington / Arr. Custer: Duke Ellington!

About the North Carolina Symphony

Founded in 1932, the North Carolina Symphony (NCS) is a vital and honored component of North Carolina’s cultural life. Each year, more than 300 concerts, education programs, and community engagement offerings reach adults and schoolchildren in all 100 North Carolina counties—in communities large and small, and in concert halls, auditoriums, gymnasiums, restaurants, clubs, and outdoor settings. The NCS is proud to expand access to audiences around the globe through concerts and educational offerings available through the digital space.

NCS’s state headquarters venue is the spectacular Meymandi Concert Hall at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh. The Symphony’s service across the state includes series in Chapel Hill, Wilmington, New Bern, Southern Pines, and Fayetteville, as well as the Summerfest series at its summer home, the outdoor Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary. NCS brings some of the world’s greatest talents to North Carolina and embraces home-state artists from classical musicians to bluegrass bands, creating live music experiences distinctive to North Carolina. NCS is dedicated to giving voice to new art and has presented more than 50 U.S. or world premieres in its history.

Committed to engaging students of all ages across North Carolina, NCS leads one of the most extensive education programs of any symphony orchestra in the country—serving over 100,000 students each year. In alignment with the curriculum set by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, the Symphony provides training and resources for teachers, sends small ensembles into classrooms, and presents full-orchestra in-person and online Education Concerts that bring the fundamentals of music to life. Music Discovery for preschoolers combines music with storytelling, and at the middle and high school levels, students have opportunities to work directly with NCS artists and perform for NCS audiences.