Valencia’s Juneteenth Celebration to Provide a Musical Journey Through African American History

On Tuesday, June 29, Valencia Community College will celebrate Juneteenth in conjunction with Black Music Month by hosting the musical event, From Spirituals to Soul, performed by the Jones High School Alumni Band.

The evening will begin at 6:30 p.m. with food and a reception, followed by the musical program at 7 p.m. It will be held on Valencia’s West Campus, located at 1800 S. Kirkman Road in Orlando, in the Special Events Center (Building 8).

This narrated program will take listeners on a musical journey through African American history, starting with the spirituals from the times of slavery and moving through gospel, deep river, swing, jazz, rhythm and blues, and soul.

Celebrating some of the greatest African American contributions to music, the program will include the works of legends such as Thomas Dorsey, W.C. Handy, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Holiday, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Ray Charles, Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Martha Williams at 407-582-8090 or

About Juneteenth

Beginning in 1865, Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. It commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a day, a week, and in some areas a month marked with celebration, guest speakers, picnics and family gatherings.

About the Jones High School Band

The Jones High School Band was founded in 1950 by James W. Wilson, more affectionately known as “Chief,” who served as the band’s director until his retirement in 1990. Started during segregation with no uniforms or instruments, the band relied on community support and donations to get off the ground. Now, the “Marching Tigers” are known for their long-standing tradition of success, discipline and entertainment. A group of graduated band members still represent their alma mater as members of the Jones High School Alumni Band.