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Photos: SLSO's A Gospel Christmas with the IN UNISON Chorus and Wintley Phipps

While Powell Hall remains closed for a transformative expansion and renovation, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra traditions have found new homes this season. On December 8, 2023, one of those traditions—the annual Gospel Christmas concert—took place at the Stifel Theatre.


The venue might have been different, the but the atmosphere remained the same—joyful, uplifting, and celebratory. The St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus collaborated wit the orchestra again in this now-treasured annual concert. The IN UNISON Chorus, one of two SLSO resident chorus, specializes in the performance and preservation of music from the African diaspora, including gospel and spirituals.


This year, the Grammy Award-nominated baritone Wintley Phipps joined the orchestra, delivering powerful performances of familiar favorites including "Go Tell It On the Mountain" and "Let There Be Peace On Earth."


The IN UNISON Chorus has a full season of performances ahead, including a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on January 15* in Manchester; the annual Lift Every Voice Concert celebrating Black History Month on February 23 at Stifel Theatre; a showcase of talented musicians from the IN UNISON Academy, the academic arm of the SLSO's IN UNISON community engagement program on March 19** in north St. Louis; a community concert on May 4* in Florissant; and a celebration of Juneteenth on June 19** in Florissant.

*This concert does not feature the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

**This concert features a chamber ensemble from the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra


Photos by Virginia Harold


IN UNISON Chorus
The St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus performs at the annual Gospel Christmas concert at Stifel Theatre on December 8.

IN UNISON Chorus
The IN UNISON Chorus performs several times each season with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

IN UNISON Chorus
The chorus and orchestra performed in front of an excited and engaged audience at Stifel Theatre.

IN UNISON Chorus
Baritone Wintley Phipps gestures towards the audience during his performance.

IN UNISON Chorus
Kevin McBeth conducted the orchestra and chorus. McBeth has been the IN UNISON Chorus director since 2011.

IN UNISON Chorus
The chorus consists of approximately 100 singers from the St. Louis community.

IN UNISON Chorus
The concert took place at the Stifel Theatre, which served as the SLSO's home from the 1930s to the 1960s.

IN UNISON Chorus
The concert included gospel and spiritual favorites, including "Children, Go Where I Send Thee" and "Walk Together Children."

IN UNISON Chorus
In addition to Gospel Christmas, the orchestra and IN UNISON Chorus collaborates yearly on a celebration of Black History Month.

IN UNISON Chorus
Guest artist Wintley Phipps.

IN UNISON Chorus
Jennifer L. Kelley, a soprano in the IN UNISON Chorus, has a featured soloist in Brandon Boyd's "Sign Me Up."


IN UNISON Chorus
The historic Stifel Theatre served as the venue for the 2023 concert.

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