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New Awakenings I: A Spring Concert of Reflection, Hope, and Strength

Barrington Coleman, musical director
Yeheun Kwon, assistant conductor
Caleb Wayman, piano
University of Illinois Black Chorus Male Ensemble
University of Illinois Chamber Singers Male Ensemble
Jupiter String Quartet
The Other Guys
Robert A. Harris, guest artist-conductor, composer
Ollie Watts Davis, guest artist-conductor
Casey Robards, piano

Hosted by University of Illinois Fine and Applied Arts and presented by the School of Music, the New Awakenings series of artistic presentations was inspired through the interest of Barrington Coleman, Associate Professor of Vocal Jazz Studies, to acknowledge and address the journey of social justice in America, civil and human rights issues of today, and a reimagined framework of universal brotherhood.

Seven Last Words of the Unarmed is a choral composition by prolific, Emmy-award winning, Atlanta-based composer Joel Thompson. After being troubled by the onslaught of killings of unarmed black men, Thompson composed this epic work of seven movements, each of which quotes the last words of an unarmed black man before he was killed. Using the text structure of Joseph Haydn's Seven Last Words of Christ, Thompson chose seven last words from Iranian-born journalist/filmmaker Shirin Barghi's #LastWords project, which chronicles the fatal atrocities in photo imagery.

Carlos Simon’s composition, An Elegy: A Cry from the Grave, is dedicated to Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and others murdered unjustly by an imperious power. Simon’s reaction to the killings became a powerful musical mix of frustration, anger, and fear. He says, “The recurring ominous motif represents the cry of those struck down unjustly in this country. . . . While the predominant essence of the piece is sorrowful and contemplative, there are moments of extreme hope represented by bright consonant harmonies.”

The Jupiter String Quartet are Artists-in-Residence and Associate Clinical Professors at the University of Illinois. They perform frequently across campus as well as at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. In addition, they coach chamber music and all have large private studios of University of Illinois students. The quartet is a particularly intimate group, consisting of violinists Nelson Lee and Megan Freivogel McDonough, violist Liz Freivogel (older sister of Meg), and cellist Daniel McDonough (husband of Meg, brother-in-law of Liz). This tight-knit ensemble is firmly established as an important voice in the world of chamber music.

Simon: An Elegy: A Cry from the Grave


Doyle (arr. Kato): Non Nobis Domine [Psalm 115:1]
Persichtti: Song of Peace
arr. Parker: Keep your hand on that plow
Thompson: Seven Last Words of the Unarmed


Newton (arr. Gibson): Amazing Grace
Musto: Litany
Harris: All the Land Weeps
Harris: Oh, How Can I Keep from Singing?
Eakin III: We Are the Stars (Stargazing)


Oliveros (arr. Coleman): A New Indigo Peace

This event made possible with the support of the Frances P. Rohlen Visiting Artist Fund, College of Fine and Applied Arts.

Tickets for this event will go on sale to the public at 10am on Tuesday, March 8. Tickets will be sold online only as mobile or print-at-home tickets and are not available for purchase by phone or at the Ticket Office counter. Before the on-sale date, please visit Krannert Center’s online ticket office to ensure you have or can create an active account. If you have any questions or need assistance, please feel welcome to contact the Ticket Office at 217.333.6280 or kran-tix [at] illinois.edu. All 2021-2022 ticket on-sale dates are now available. To learn about early ticket-buying opportunities, please contact Krannert Center’s Advancement team: 217.333.6700 or advancement [at] krannertcenter.illinois.edu.

In order to attend this event, audience members must bring a photo ID and proof of either 1) full vaccination, 2) negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the event start time, or 3) negative COVID-19 antigen test taken within 6 hours of the event start time. Home tests do not qualify. Masks are required throughout the event, and children under two years of age cannot be admitted. Please see our COVID-19 Safety Protocols page for full entry requirements.

Event Details

Foellinger Great Hall
Sa Apr 09, 2022 - 7:30pm CT
Advocate 50 / Standard 25 / SC 20 / STU 15 / UI STU Free / YTH 10