Preserving The African-American Experience Through Song, Dance, And Drama

Founded 1967


“The singers’ multipart harmonies, call-and-respond techniques and beautiful descants

transformed the folk repertoire with classical polish.” - The Grand Rapids Press

“...a wonderful experience...”- National Public Radio

“...The Princely Players didn’t just give the audience a history lesson- they also

provided exciting, gut-wrenching theater.”- The Nashville Scene

“...the Players conduct an evocative and educational tour of the black experience from

its African roots to today.” –The Tennessean

“...moving...modern with due reference to tradition.” – The Richmond Times-Dispatch

“The Princely Players give spirituals the royal treatment.”- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“The Princely Players epitomize the power that can come through in performing arts.”

- Appollo’s Struggle A Performing Arts Odessey in the Athens of the South Nashville,

TN by Martha Rivers Ingram with D.B. Kellogg

The ultimate purposes of The Princely Players are: • To foster, encourage, and develop popular public appreciation of and to promote means and opportunities for the education of the public with respect to the history and culture of African-Americans through drama, song and dance • To interest and unite young men and women in the performing arts to the end that the sleeping talents which they possess may be awakened • To bring forth, by creative expression, a nobler manhood and womanhood and more perfect love of themselves.

Working in the tradition of the Fairfield Four and the Jubilee Singers, The Princely Players will tell the story of Africans in America from slavery through the Civil Rights movement in "On The Road to Glory." The show features spirituals, gospel and traditional folk music, as well as poetry highlighting the struggle for freedom.

The group has collaborated with Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the Nashville Symphony. Members of the ensemble have recorded with Nashville musicians Randy Travis, Danny O'Keefe, and Kathy Mattea.

The Princely Players have also made appearances on the BBC, TNN and National Public Radio's "Wade in the Water" series, and on the Time-Life Civil War recordings.

The eight vocalists originally met at Cameron High School in Nashville, where a member of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, H. German Wilson, gathered students to form a performing troupe in the 1960s. Since then the individual members have gone on to succeed in areas such as medicine, law and education, yet continue to perform as members of The Princely Players.

Their performances range from traditional spirituals like "Amazing Grace" and "Swing Low" to classical jazz such as Duke Ellington's "A-Train."The Grand Rapids Press" writes, "The singers' multipart harmonies, call-and-response techniques and beautiful descants transformed the folk repertoire with classical polish."

Contact Us (email)  or Contact Robert Smith (615) 242-5003