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Dr. J. Donald Dumpson, Artistic Director

Seeing himself as a portal of access for those excluded from mainstream artistic opportunities at major arts and educational institutions throughout the nation, Dr. J. Donald Dumpson’s intergenerational work occurs within an educational, spiritual, psychocultural and sociocultural framework. While he works with a broad range of art forms, his principal focus is the human voice. He believes that the human voice has been central in communicating messages from despair to jubilation, deprivation to abundance, and from the impossible to the possible. His goal is to reduce artistic stereotypes that limit inclusion of art borne of the African Diaspora.



The Philadelphia Heritage Chorale, Inc. (PHC) was founded by Dr. J. Donald Dumpson as the Celebration Choir.

The ensemble's mission is to facilitate access for appreciation, participation, and celebration of the arts in Philadelphia and beyond and bring the excellence of presentation to a broad range of people with a special commitment to music born of the African Diaspora or created by composers of African descent. The choir is featured annually at A Soulful Christmas for the Kimmel Center Presents. PHC was featured in the national WXPN broadcast, the Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul. In March 2019, the ensemble sang Hannibal Lokumbe's newest work "Healing Tones" with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting, and the Morgan State University Choir, Dr. Eric Conway, conductor.

The chorale sang at the 2016 Democratic National Convention's official Welcome Gathering, and in 2015 sang for the World Meeting of Families Festival Celebration performance, which also featured Aretha Franklin, Andrea Bocelli, Juanes, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. The chorale appeared with jazz bassist Christian McBride in "The Movement Revisited" featuring Sonia Sanchez as Rosa Parks and Rev. Dr. Alyn Waller as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 2014, members of the PHC accompanied Kathleen Battle in a recital entitled "The Underground Railroad." PHC also sang the world premiere of Hannibal Lokumbe's powerful work "Can You Hear God Crying?" with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, which was released on Naxos ArkivMusic in 2014.


PHC Board Members

Angela M. Haynes, Esq.


Michael D. Gilmore, Esq.


Aaron D. White

Managing Director

Sydney Beckett, Ed.D.


Patricia Covington


Rev. Dr. Darlene Elliott, Th.D.


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