On June 19, 1865 Union soldiers, lead by Major General Gordon Granger announced the news that the war had ended and that all enslaved persons in the United States were now free. Juneteenth (June 19th) is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the end of slavery in the U.S. We recognize this world-wide celebration with the rebroadcast of In Concert with the Morehouse College Glee Club, a concert that includes a performance of The Seven Last Words of the Unarmed by Joel Thompson, a setting of the last words of unarmed black men who were killed by police violence. (Fri 6/19, 3:00pm)
As part of their 2019 choir tour, Director David Morrow and the Morehouse College Glee Club presented a concert at Asbury First United Methodist Church (Mar 12, 2019). Dr. Morrow visited the WXXI studios and talked with Classical 91.5 host Kearstin Brown about the College and the mission of the Glee Club.
Founded in 1911, the Morehouse College Glee Club travels all over the country and the world. In fall 1987, Dr. David E. Morrow ('80), a native of Rochester, became the three director of the Glee Club. Under his direction the Glee Club has performed in Senegal, Ethiopia, Ghana, Uganda and Nigeria (1972); Russia, Poland, Bermuda, te Bahamas, Canada, Puerto Rico, Honduras and Algeria (1996-2018).
One of the highlights of the Rochester concert was the performance of The Seven Last Words of the Unarmed by Joel Thompson, a setting of the last words of unarmed black men who were killed by police violence. The movements are:
I. Kenneth Chamberlain "Officers why do you have your guns out?"
II. Trayvon Martin "What are you following me for?"
III. Amadou Diallo "Mom, I'm going to college" (soloists Marvin Allen II, bar)
IV. Michael Brown "I don't have a gun! STOP!"
V. Oscar Grant "You shot me!"
VI. John Crawford "It's not real"
VII. Eric Garner "I can't breathe"
(Piano Quintet: Ellen Sonnenberg, v; Epongue Ekille, v; Katie Brown, vla; Laurie Kennedy, c; Jonathan Alvarado, II, p)