The Anacostia High School Choir, augmented by members of the Anacostia community, will present five performances of "God's Trombones" from June 26 through 28 at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts.
"This is one of the most exciting and positive things to happen to Anacostia High School in years," said Wesley Boyd, the show's producer.
Boyd, a 1969 music graduate of Howard University, is in his first year of teaching voice and piano at Anacostia after a 17-year career as a singer and musical director of choral groups.
Boyd is founder of the Wesley Boyd Workshop, a community-based choral group devoted to the preservation of black gospel music.
Boyd has performed in this country and in Europe. "I learned so much out there that I wanted to come back and share it," he said. "And what better place than Anacostia?"
Last winter, the president of the Anacostia High School PTA, Janet Bryant, told Boyd that the PTA treasury had an extra $200 that she would like to be used toward a production of "God's Trombones."
As was the idea from the beginning, the play will be a fund-raiser for the school and will involve both the school and the Anacostia community.
Since February, the 25-member cast, which ranges in age from 13 to 22, has been in rehearsal five days a week.
The Anacostia High School version of "God's Trombones" will feature 15 songs written by William Hubbard.
Hubbard is the musical director of the Wesley Boyd Workshop and the writer of "I Love You Lord Today," which was recorded by the Edwin Hawkins Music and Arts Seminar Choir. Gary Vincent, dance teacher at Anacostia and an Ellington graduate, is the director-choreographer. Sandra Fagans, who teaches government at Anacostia, wrote the new adaptation that focuses on the biblical story of the prodigal son.
The original version of "God's Trombones" is a James Weldon Johnson collection of seven sermons.
The Ellington School of the Arts is at 35th and R streets NW. Performances will begin at 8 p.m. June 26 through 28, with matinees at 2 p.m. on June 27 and 28.
Admission is $10 for the evening shows and $5 for the matinees.