It is my hope that these concert performances might serve an audience of general choral music enthusiasts, singers, and students. This is a small sample of our overall programming, but I’m proud to offer this listing as a resource for anyone to enjoy. – Matthew Culloton, Artistic Director
All video recorded LIVE in concert by Ken Fitzer (YouTube: maestroz25) unless otherwise noted.
Sunday, May 8, 3:00 pm – St. Andrew’s Lutheran, Mahtomedi
Craig Hella Johnson | Considering Matthew Shepard
In October of 1998, Matthew Shepard, a young, gay student at the University of Wyoming in Laramie was kidnapped, severely beaten, tied to a fence and left to die in a lonely field under a blanket of stars. Five days later, when Matt passed away, the world was watching. This three-part fusion oratorio speaks with a fresh and bold voice, incorporating a variety of musical styles seamlessly woven into a unified whole. Johnson sets a wide range of poetic and soulful texts by poets including Hildegard of Bingen, Lesléa Newman, Michael Dennis Browne, and Rumi. Passages from Matt’s personal journal, interviews and writings from his parents Judy and Dennis Shepard, newspaper reports and additional texts by Johnson and Browne are poignantly appointed throughout the work. Program note from conspirare.org
“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.” – Craig Hella Johnson, composer