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The Sounds of Freedom

6/17/2023 5:00 pm

Pea Island Cookhouse

622 Sir Walter Raleigh St, Manteo, NC 27954, USA

On Saturday, June 17, 2023, at 5:00 pm, Tshombe Selby, a beloved Manteo native and tenor with the Metropolitan Opera, will return to sing The Sounds of Freedom at the Pea Island Cookhouse Museum in Manteo to celebrate the national holiday, Juneteenth.   Since this year the holiday falls on Monday, the concert will be held on Saturday to allow more people the opportunity to attend.  Tshombe’s return marks the third consecutive year PIPSI has held this free outdoor at the Cookhouse Museum located at Collins Park.  Based on past feedback received, another great crowd is expected this year.  

Since the Juneteenth concert last year, Tshombe has been singing mainly at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.  This season he performed in four operas with the chorus there and in one concert at Carnegie Hall.   He also marked another important milestone in his life, singing his debut solo role as Mono in Terrance Blanchard’s opera Champion.

Performing for PIPSI’ Juneteenth concert is very special to Tshombe.  He started his career singing and playing piano at Haven Creek Baptist Church located on Roanoke Island.  The historic church was named after thousands of enslaved who fled to this area in search of a “safe haven,” a place they could find freedom during the Civil war, and where the Freedmen’s Colony on Roanoke Island was once located.  Tshombe’s roots are tied to this history, making his performance at the Cookhouse Museum even more special.  Tshombe looks forward to returning, as he has many dedicated followers on the Outer Banks who have followed and supported him through the years as he continues to fulfill his dream of being a professional opera singer. 

The celebration this year will include the unveiling of a new painting by the local artist James Melvin, a painting to remember the the Freedmen’s Colony.  This new painting represents the fourth painting Mr. Melvin has done as part PIPSI’s continued efforts to raise awareness of the Black history of Roanoke Island locally and beyond.  

The Don and Catharine Bryan Cultural Series and Towne Bank were lead sponsors the past two years. Both have again committed to support the event this year.  If other businesses, organizations, or individuals wish to provide support, please contact PIPSI at  Additional support is welcomed as our desire is  to make Juneteenth a community event people look forward to attending each year.  We also welcome anyone who wishes to volunteer to help at the Cookhouse Museum for the Juneteenth celebration this year. 

 This free outdoor concert provides a great opportunity for those who live in or who may be visiting the area to gather together to commemorate the emancipation of people enslaved in this country and the importance of freedom.  As the concert date approaches, more details will be provided.  In the meantime, please mark Saturday, June 17, 2023, 5:00 pm at the Cookhouse Museum on your calendar now!

The Pea Island Cookhouse Museum is located at 622 Sir Walter Raleigh Street in Manteo.  The organization’s mailing address is: Pea Island Preservation Society, Inc., PO Box 217, Manteo, NC 27954.  Additional information about the organization and the two prior The Sounds of Freedom concerts can be found on PIPSI’s Facebook page, or web page  

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