A Conjoining of Ancient Song, a new documentary by Dr. Gretchen Berland and Yale School of Music professor Willie Ruff, will receive its world premiere. The half-hour Yale documentary retraces the trajectory of a rapidly eroding form of congregational singing out of Scotland and into both African American and Native American religious song traditions.
Mr. Ruff’s project on congregational line singing began in 2005 at a Yale conference comparing traditions in Alabama, Kentucky, and the Gaelic-speaking Free Church Presbyterians of the Scottish Highlands. This first foray resulted in three television documentaries, a feature story for NPR’s “Morning Edition,” and a 2007 conference in Muscogee Creek Nation, Oklahoma. MORE