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Three World Premieres Will Take Place in The Washington Chorus 2021-2022 Season


 Individual tickets for A Candlelight Christmas and Justice and Peace go on sale at 10 am ET on August 12.

The Washington Chorus' (TWC) has programmed a season of in-person events, to celebrate its resilient return to live experiences and performances. Individual tickets for A Candlelight Christmas and Justice and Peace go on sale at 10 am ET on August 12, with additional shows on sale beginning in September. For more information, please visit The Washington Chorus.

TWC will present or collaborate on three world premieres in the 2021-2022 season; Adolphus Hailstork's "A Knee on the Neck, a Requiem cantata for George Floyd," written in response to the death of George Floyd, Damien Geter's "Symphony no. 1: The Justice Symphony" commemorating anthems from the Civil Rights era, and Roshanne Etezady's "Become The Sky" with texts by the 13th-Century Persian poet Rumi in a prologue for chorus, orchestral brass, and percussion. All three American composers bring works that acknowledge the devastating impact social injustices have had on our communities.

"This is an important moment for our community and also for The Washington Chorus. During our 16 months apart we've all endured the challenges, changes, and uncertainties COVID 19 had on our lives, it's important to me and all at TWC that we use our voices to celebrate our resilience and connect and unite with our community." says TWC Artistic Director, Dr. Eugene Rogers. "After spending my first season with TWC engaging virtually and unable to meet in person with the Chorus, audiences and the community, I'm excited to finally be able to lead the chorus through this exciting program of events."

The first of five mainstage concerts kicks off in December with the return of the holiday tradition, A Candlelight Christmas. Led by Dr. Eugene Rogers and featuring National Capitol Brass, handbells, and organist Paul Byssainthe, the concert will feature popular carols along with holiday favorites and newly commissioned works with performances at the Kennedy Center and The Music Center at Strathmore. (Dec 16 - 23)

Dr. Eugene Rogers and members of the chorus join the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) under Maestro Gianandrea Noseda, soprano Camilla Tilling, mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford, tenor, Issachah Savage and bass-baritone Hanno Müller-Brachmann, for three live performances of Beethoven Symphony No. 9 at the Kennedy Center. The concerts will be recorded live for release on the NSO's new record label NSO Live - a partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra's label LSO Live. Noseda will lead the first chorus-orchestra recording of his tenure through three of Beethoven symphonies paired with music by trailblazing American composers George Walker and William Grant Still. (January 27-30, 2022).

In celebration of the Sphinx organization's 25th anniversary, members of TWC will join EXIGENCE vocal ensemble and the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in a performance of Joel Thompson's powerful choral work, "Seven Last Words of the Unarmed." The work pays tribute to seven African American men killed by police in recent years. It was commissioned by Dr. Eugene Rogers and premiered at the University of Michigan Men's Glee Club under his direction in 2016. Dr. Rogers will also lead his own arrangement of "Glory" during the concert (February 1, 2022). A co-presentation with Washington Performing Arts.

In memory of George Floyd, TWC and The National Philharmonic and Chorale will collaborate on the world premiere of Adolphus Hailstork's requiem cantata, "A Knee on The Neck," featuring a quartet of world-class vocal soloists under the direction of Nat Phil Music Director Piotr Gajewski, with texts by historian and Professor Emeritus of The University of Dayton Ohio Herbert Martin. TWC singers will join vocal forces with The National Philharmonic Chorale and other collaborating singers, with TWC Artistic Director Eugene Rogers as the performance chorus master. The performances will take place at The Music Center at Strathmore (March 26, 2022) and the brand-new Capital One Hall (March 28, 2022).

Through the Mahogany Initiative, TWC develops its commitment to commissioning and presenting work by creators and artists of color, and to celebrating and centering voices and visions of creators of color, including in the 2021-22 season the world premiere of Damien Geter's The Justice Symphony. This work, along with the premiere of Roshanne Etezady's Become The Sky, will be performed at Justice and Peace, the closing concert with chorus and full orchestra of TWC's 2021-22 at the Kennedy Center that also includes Ralph Vaughan Williams cantata Dona Nobis Pacem, with acclaimed soprano Karen Slack as guest soloist. (June 12, 2022)

TWC will continue to partner with local organizations to offer a series of free community singing events led by Dr. Rogers. Following the extraordinary success of Cause for Song, an on demand personalized music video messages, TWC will continue to offer songs for every occasion throughout the season.

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