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Music and the Brain

Saturday, May 31, 2008
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

The Abyssinian Gospel Choir joined neurologist/author Oliver Sacks in an exploration of the power of music, as the choir’s performance provides a stimulating context for accounts of music’s biological foundations, and of patients whose lives were altered by the empowerment of music.

As part of the 200th anniversary celebration of The Abyssinian Baptist Church in the City of New York, where Calvin O. Butts, III is pastor, the Abyssinian Baptist Church choir joined neurologist/author Oliver Sacks in an exploration of the power of music to inspire and uplift, and as an effective tool in the therapeutic process. Blending neuroscience with the choir’s vibrant and extensive repertoire, along with reflections on the role of African-American sacred music’s significant historical expressions, this program provided a stimulating context for Sacks’ true-life accounts of patients whose lives were altered by the empowerment of music.

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Participants

Calvin O. ButtsPastor of The Abyssinian Baptist Church

The Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III, is Pastor of the nationally renowned Abyssinian Baptist Church and President of SUNY College at Old Westbury. Under his leadership, the Church leads crucial community development and social justice initiatives in Harlem.

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Oliver SacksNeurologist, Author

Oliver Sacks, a physician and author, has been called “the poet laureate of medicine” by The New York Times. His books and essays, including The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and An Anthropologist on Mars, are used in schools and universities around the world.

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The Abyssinian Baptist Church ChoirChoir

The Inspirational Voices of Abyssinian Baptist Church is the resident choir of one of the most prominent African-American institutions in America. Under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III, the Abyssinian Baptist Church has followed the African-American church tradition of actively building communities.

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Location

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