The second half of this season, our 20th, began with two great performances for our MET Singers, MET alumni and MET Academy in the Schools singers. The first being a collaborative effort that we started in 2017, title, “Upon These Shoulders,” This concert event presented by CAL, Fisk University and Intersection kicked off our 2018 season. The evening began with an engaging tour of the Carl Van Vechten Art gallery featuring performances from Fisk University students. The gallery featured images from World War I, The Great Migration, Harlem Renaissance and A Celebration of The Harmon Foundation gift. The night was filled with song, poetry and movement that connected the art to the concert theme and brought the art to life. Associate Professor Gwendolyn Brown and Van Vechten Gallery Curator Jamaal Sheats curated the gallery for the evening.
The climax of the evening took place inside of the historic Fisk Memorial Chapel. The evening featured performances from The Fisk Jubilee Singers, Nashville’s professional contemporary ensemble Intersection, MET Singers and Contralto Gwendolyn Brown. Intersection showcased the world-premiere of a newly commissioned work by composer Jonathan Bailey Holland, “I Too Sing,” performed with our MET Singers. Later the MET Singers premiered “My Lord What A Morning” arranged by Dr. Cedric Dent and the Nashville premiere of Joel Thompson’s “Seven Last Words of the Unarmed” featuring a Community Chorus comprised of male singers from Fisk University, Tennessee State University, Lipscomb University, Potara, Nashville Symphony Chorus, Celebration Chorus and more.
We were joined by the composer of Seven Last Words of the Unarmed, Joel Thompson, who introduced the piece and shared what motivated each movement of the piece. There was so much emotion in the atmosphere while this piece was being performed. As a diverse chorus of men sang through the piece you could feel the shared chills through the silence in the room. At the end of the performance, we asked our attendees to leave comments on our engagement boards about how the concert made them feel. We got some amazing commentary from our attendees.
“Seven Last Words of the Unarmed’ is an amazing piece. All life is precious, I experienced the pain of seven men shot and the pain of their families. Life has to be protected.” -Anonymous Attendee
“Thank you for the powerful, emotional performances – they were sorrowful, yet joyful and hopeful.”- Anonymous Attendees
We want to thank all of the media outlets who shared and covered our event. Your dedication to sharing culturally enriching events like ‘Upon These Shoulders’ keeps the community inspired.
For more photos from the event, click here to view the full album of photos on our Facebook page.