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A Soulful Christmas

Image from A Soulful Christmas in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center

Image from A Soulful Christmas in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center

Image from A Soulful Christmas in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center

Image from A Soulful Christmas in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center

Image from A Soulful Christmas in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center

Image from A Soulful Christmas in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center

Image from A Soulful Christmas in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center

Image from A Soulful Christmas in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center

Image from A Soulful Christmas in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center

Program History

A Soulful Christmas was created after a collaboration between the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Heritage Chorale. A Soulful Christmas is inspired by African diaspora and a unique, large-scale event hosted in the Verizon Hall over in the Kimmel Center.

A Soulful Christmas is meant to bring communities and community-based choirs, great pastors across Philadelphia, praise dancers, and many instrumental artists together in the Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall and have an annual celebration of worship and music. While enjoying the show, you can also enjoy the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ, the Finale of Lights, and much more.

PECO is a proud sponsor of A Soulful Christmas!

Image from A Soulful Christmas in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center

Notes / Comments from J. Donald Dumpson, Artistic and Music Director

J. Donald Dumpson is the President of Diverse Arts Solutions, Minister of Music and Arts at Arch Street Presbyterian Church, and the founder of Philadelphia Heritage Chorale. He has served with the faculties at various places like Westminster Choir College Rider University, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia’s School District High School for Creative and Performing Arts.

In 2018, Dr. Dumpson was the Artistic and Music Director for “The Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul” sponsored by the Pew Foundation. He was also the chorus master of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s premier of Healing Tones. This was by Hannibal Lokumbe and Maestro Yannick Nezet- Seguin as the conductor.

Image from A Soulful Christmas in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center

Image from A Soulful Christmas in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center

Image from A Soulful Christmas in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center

Past Honorees of A Soulful Christmas

2019: Dr. Norman Hutchins
2018: Dottie Peoples
2017: Lady Tramaine Hawkins
2016: Richard Smallwood
2015: Pastor Shirley Caesar
2014: The late Edwin Hawkins
2013: The late Rev. Dr. Veroguia Nix and Professor Clayton White 
(Melba Moore also performed in 2013)

Press/ Articles Comments and Reviews

A Soulful Christmas has become a Philadelphia holiday tradition, sought out by subscribers for its wide range of repertoire and its heartfelt rendering of spiritual, gospel and classical sacred music”.
- The Philadelphia Sun

“For the last five years, the Kimmel Center has produced the annual musical celebration that features holiday and contemporary selections from some 600 gospel choir members spanning eight regional choirs. Dumpson presented this year’s lifetime achievement award to gospel powerhouse Dottie Peoples”.
- The Philadelphia Inquirer

“In front of a sold-out crowd, leaders from each church set the stage for their choirs by offering a mini- sermon on the foundational principals of Christmas, for the first time WDAS will broadcast the show on Christmas Eve. Leslie Patterson-Tyler, director of media relations and communication at the Kimmel Center and the first lady of Mother Bethel A.M.E, said she had never seen the show sell out so fast”.
- The Philadelphia Inquirer