Experience the soul-stirring, hand-raising celebration as the EvansvillePhilharmonic Orchestra brings back “Gospel at the Phil” joined by members of the Philharmonic Chorus and singers from area churches. Alfred Savia conducts this one day only performance with Evansville Philharmonic Chorus Conductor Andrea Drury and Gospel Chorus Conductor James Hamler at the Victory Theatre on Sunday, February 16, 2020 at 4:00 PM.

James Lesley Hamler, Jr. is a native of Purvis, Mississippi and at the age of 10 started singing and traveling with D and N Productions of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. After graduating Purvis High School James attended Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, Mississippi and later transferred to
William Carey University, Hattiesburg, Mississippi where he studied Vocal Performance. After moving to Evansville, he started James Hamler and Total Grace, who released their Live recording in 2014. Most recently, James recorded Live with the Nazarene Baptist Church Sanctuary Choir, “God Gave Me A Song.” He wrote 8 of the 10 tracks for this recording and is committed to sharing the Word of God through music and the preaching of the Gospel. James has served as Minister of Music for the Nazarene Baptist Church of Evansville, Indiana for the past 21 years under the leadership of Pastor Larry A. Rascoe, Sr.

Native Texan, Andrea Drury is thrilled to be returning to the Philharmonic Chorus as their director. She previously conducted the group from 2012-2017. She is currently the Fine Arts Specialist for choral and general music and theatre for the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation. She taught applied voice at the University of Evansville and the University of Southern Indiana for two years prior. In 2014, Mrs. Drury and her husband were awarded the Artist Award presented by the Arts Council of Southwest Indiana. She currently is the Area 7 Representative for the Indiana Music Education Association and the Repertoire and Resources Lifelong Coordinator and Community Chair for the Indiana Choral Director Association. Mrs. Drury received her Bachelor of Music Education from Baylor University in 1996 and her Master of Music in Vocal Performance from The Ohio State University in 2000.

James Hamler, Andrea Drury and the EPO come together to bring spiritual songs to life, including “Let All the People Praise His Name” from the Nazarene Baptist CD just released. Plus, hear favorite gospel songs “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” and favorites such as “Oh Happy Day,” and “Total Praise” to name a few. Maestro Savia wanted to revisit some of the opportunities brought to the Evansville community over his tenure. This sparked a conversation with Nazarene Baptist and New Hope churches to collaborate, as we have in the past, for each Gospel concert. These organizations discussed ways to increase diversity of EPO participants, find common ground and strategize about meaningful collaborations. This concert will be a unifying event and a blending of cultures – one community that learns music by reading notes and another that learns by ear; giving the ability for everyone in the community to be included.

Concert Sponsor for “Gospel at the Phil” is Old National Bank and Guest Artist Sponsor is Friends of the Chorus.