Sphinx Symphony Orchestra And EXIGENCE Vocal Ensemble to Present Debut Collaboration in Ann Arbor and D.C

The program includes Sphinx-commission Carlos Simon's Motherboxx Connection; Valerie Coleman's Seven O'Clock Shout and more.

By: Dec. 14, 2022
Sphinx Symphony Orchestra And EXIGENCE Vocal Ensemble to Present Debut Collaboration in Ann Arbor and D.C
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The Sphinx Symphony Orchestra (SSO) is a unique all-Black and Latinx orchestra comprised of top professionals from around the United States. Created by the 25-year old Sphinx Organization, the largest and longest-standing organization dedicated to diversity and inclusion in classical music, the SSO includes past and current members of the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Met Opera Orchestra, Detroit, Atlanta, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Puerto Rico Symphonies, as well as faculty members of leading music institutions, including Peabody and New England Conservatories, Harlem School of the Arts, Rutgers University, and the University of Michigan.

The Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, alongside Sphinx's EXIGENCE Vocal Ensemble, will embark on a debut collaboration to the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, MI on Sunday, January 29, 2023 at 2:00pm, followed by a co-presentation of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts & Washington Performing Arts, in cooperation with The Washington Chorus, in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, January 31, 2023 at 8:00pm. Led by conductors Tito Muñoz and Eugene Rogers, the program includes Sphinx-commission Carlos Simon's Motherboxx Connection; Valerie Coleman's Seven O'Clock Shout; Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's Ballade for Orchestra; Michael Abels' Delights and Dances; Carlos Cordero/Julie Flander's Holding Our Breath; traditional spiritual, Fix Me, Jesus; and the world premiere of a new transcription of Seven Last Words of the Unarmed, a moving work composed by Joel Thompson quoting the last words of seven African-American men killed by police or authority figures. The SSO and EXIGENCE Vocal Ensemble will be joined by 2023 Sphinx Medal of Excellence Honoree soprano Aundi Marie Moore and members of the Washington Chorus.

Conductor Eugene Rogers; composers Joel Thompson and Carlos Simon; and SSO members oboist Titus Underwood, trombonist Weston Sprott, cellist Christine Lamprea, and violinist/concertmaster Kelly Hall-Tompkins are all former Sphinx Medal of Excellence recipients.

The Sphinx Organization began in 1997 as a singular initiative: the Sphinx Competition for young Black and Latinx string players. The goal of founder, violinist Aaron Dworkin, was to identify, empower, and support talented young artists and prepare them for professional careers in classical music. Over the past 25 years, Sphinx has grown from a single program to a movement that promotes artistic excellence and inclusion across the sector, through year-round tuition-free education and creative youth development; 4 premier ensembles and a robust roster of soloists; commissioning and performing new works by Black and Latinx composers; administrative leadership, cultural innovation, and entrepreneurship programs; and sector-wide partnerships with 300+ organizations to serve the field and bring programming to scale. The organization is now led by Afa S. Dworkin, its long-time Artistic Director, as well as 10 full-time staff members, 50+ teaching artists and seasonal teams, 1,000 alumni, more than $10 million invested in Black and Latinx musicians through artist grants and scholarships, and 2 million annual audiences.

Program Details

Sunday, January 29, 2023 at 2:00pm ET
University Musical Society, Hill Auditorium | Ann Arbor, MI
Tickets: Starting at $14 (+ fees); $12-20 student tickets available
Link: https://ums.org/performance/sphinx-symphony-orchestra-with-exigence-2/

Tuesday, January 31, 2023 at 8:00pm ET
The Kennedy Center, Presented with Washington Performing Arts | Washington, D.C.
Tickets: $20-50
Links: www.kennedy-center.org/whats-on/explore-by-genre/fortas/2022-2023/sphinx-symphony-orchestra

Carlos Simon - Motherboxx Connection
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor - Ballade for Orchestra
Valerie Coleman - Seven O'Clock Shout
Michael Abels - Delights and Dances
Carlos Cordero / Julie Flanders - Holding Our Breath
Traditional, arr. Augustus Hill - Fix Me, Jesus
Joel Thompson - Seven Last Words of the Unarmed
John Legend / Common, arr. Eugene Rogers - "Glory" from Selma

Sphinx Symphony Orchestra
Tito Muñoz, Conductor
Eugene Rogers, Conductor
EXIGENCE Vocal Ensemble
Aundi Marie Moore, Soprano
Members of The Washington Chorus

About Sphinx Organization

The Sphinx Organization is the social justice organization dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. Sphinx's four program areas - Education & Access, Artist Development, Performing Artists, and Arts Leadership - form a pipeline that develops and supports diversity and inclusion in classical music at every level: music education, artists performing on stage, the repertoire and programming being performed, the communities represented in audiences, and the artistic and administrative leadership within the field. Sphinx programs reach more than 100,000 students and artists, as well as live and broadcast audiences of more than two million annually. Read more about Sphinx's programs at www.SphinxMusic.org.

Photo Credit: Kevin Kennedy


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