Community Organization to Host First Live Concert in Over Two Years this Sunday (Sponsored Content)

The Arts at Grace and the SUNY Cortland Choral Union are proud to present a performance of Considering Matthew Shepard: A Choral Suite on Sunday, May 1 at 3:00 pm in Rose Hall, 19 Church Street, Cortland. The music is composed by Craig Hella Johnson, with words by the composer and Michael Dennis Browne. Prior to the performance, English Lecturer Gailanne Mackenzie will give a talk entitled “The Dark Side of Human Nature.” The concert is free of charge, with donations gratefully accepted at the door. 

Considering Matthew Shepard focuses on a notorious hate crime in which Matthew Shepard, a young gay man who was a student at the University of Wyoming, was brutally murdered. In music that ranges from classically oriented choral singing to folk, country, hymns, and gospel, the piece urges “All of Us” to come together in a spirit of common humanity to overcome our prejudices and bigotry. The composer writes: “Matt Shepard and his story have led me on an inspiring, challenging and deeply meaningful journey that I continue to this day. In composing Considering Matthew Shepard I wanted to create, within a musical framework, a space for reflection, consideration and unity around his life and legacy.” 

The Choral Union has been enjoying rehearsals in person this semester, and is thrilled to present its first live concert in over two years. The group numbers 42 singers, including SUNY Cortland students, staff, and community members. The chorus will be joined by eight fine professional musicians from Central New York, and the conductor will be David Neal.