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The Dessoff Choirs Announces 2021-22 Season


All 2021-22 performances are conducted by Malcolm J. Merriweather.

The Dessoff Choirs Announces 2021-22 Season

The Dessoff Choirs today announced its 2021-22 season. Marking its first live, in-person performance in almost two years, The Dessoff Choirs kick- starts its 97th season with the New York premiere of Considering Matthew Shepard co- directed by WQXR's Elliott Forrest and Rod Caspers.

This year's traditional holiday programs include Dessoff's debut performance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, presenting Margaret Bonds's Christmas cantata, The Ballad of the Brown King, along with works by jazz great Mary Lou Williams. The season concludes with the New York premiere of the orchestral editions of two neglected Bonds cantatas: Credo (edition by Dr. Rollo Dillworth of Temple University) inspired by W.E.B. Du Bois's essay, and Simon Bore the Cross (edition by Malcolm J. Merriweather), a collaboration with Langston Hughes. Dessoff welcomes some of today's rising opera stars as soloists including Matthew Cahill (New York City Opera), Laquita Mitchell (San Francisco Opera), Markel Reed (Metropolitan Opera), Noah Stewart (Covent Garden), Lucia Bradford (New York City Opera), and more. (The complete season schedule is below.)

As Malcolm J. Merriweather, Dessoff's ninth Music Director explains, "The Dessoff Choirs has been bringing beautiful music to New Yorkers for nearly 100 years. It was challenging and heartbreaking to not perform with each other and for our audiences for the past two years. We look forward to returning more resilient, energetic, humble, and generous. I have no doubt our choristers will sing their hearts out!"

The 2021-22 season shines a spotlight on African-American composer Margaret Bonds (1913-1972), a significant figure in the fight for civil rights. This season's concerts mark the latest in Dessoff's ongoing exploration of Bonds's important work. In 2019, Dessoff released The Ballad of the Brown King (ArkivMusic/Avie) to much acclaim. According to WQXR Radio it was one the Best Classical Recordings of the year. "

All 2021-22 performances are conducted by Malcolm J. Merriweather. Tickets are priced at $20-40, and only available for purchase at

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