Anthony Kelley and the BLAK Ensemble

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Friday, August 26, 2011

A performance by a postmodern blues ensemble may not be the first thing you’d expect to hear at Duke Divinity School’s Convocation & Pastors’ School, an annual conference for Christian leaders. But the 2011 Convocation, Drawn into Scripture: Arts and the Life of the Church, Oct. 10-11, features speakers who will weave together performances and lectures, promising new insight into experiencing and sharing the Gospel.

Anthony Kelley, co-director of the BLAK Ensemble, is an award-winning composer who explores how music is linked with other media, arts, and sociological phenomena.  He serves as associate professor of the practice of music in the Duke University Department of Music and is the winner of Duke’s 2011 Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award (ADUTA).

On Tuesday, Oct. 11, Anthony Kelley and the BLAK Ensemble, a postmodern new-blues musical collective, will help participants explore “Instantaneous Infinity…or, Thinking Beyond the Page in Musical and Human Connection and Communication.” 

“New blues” is a mode of musical discovery and improvisation designed to illuminate new spaces of the human imagination. At this performance-lecture, attendees will witness the ensemble’s explorations and learn how general principles of individual and collective interpretation, communication, and improvisation might be applied to spiritual leadership. 

This year’s Convocation & Pastors’ School will also feature performance-lectures by Jeremy Begbie, Thomas A. Langford research professor of theology at Duke Divinity School and a professionally trained musician, who will explore how music can help us understand more deeply what it means to lament “in Christ” and explore the New Testament witness to Jesus’ resurrection.  In addition, Marilynne Robinson, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Gilead, will read an excerpt from her book about a pastor from a small town in Iowa and discuss the intersection of literature and religion. 

Register today for Drawn into Scripture: Arts and the Life of the Church.

Learn more about the influence music has had on Anthony Kelley’s life in this Duke Magazine profile.