Commissioned by Resonance Ensemble, An African American Requiem was originally slated to premiere in April 2020, but postponed due to the ongoing global pandemic. The highly anticipated performance took place at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, Oregon, in early May, and now available to be heard around the world.
The work incorporates traditional requiem mass parts, African American spirituals, as well as texts from civil rights activists Ida B. Wells and Jamilia Land. It also includes the last words spoken by Eric Garner, a line from a poem by Antwon Rose, and words written and performed by Portland poet Dr. S. Renee Mitchell.
Featuring the Oregon Symphony with the African American Requiem Choir, made up of singers from Resonance Ensemble, Kingdom Sound Gospel Choir, and other Portland-based choirs. William Eddins conducts, and Resonance Ensemble’s Artistic Director Dr. Katherine FitzGibbon prepared the chorus. The concert also features a quartet of renowned African American opera singers: Brandie Sutton, soprano; Karmesha Peake, mezzo-soprano; Bernard Holcomb, tenor; and Kenneth Overton, baritone.
Listen on Saturday, June 18 at 8pm