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.
Emmy award-winning composer Joel Thompson is a pianist, conductor, and educator from Atlanta. His Seven Last Words of the Unarmed is an intensely personal response to the victims of violent social injustice—namely, the police killings of Black men—featuring the combined participation of the Varsity Men’s Glee Club, the men of the UI Black Chorus and the UI Chamber Singers, along with the Jupiter String Quartet and Casey Robards, piano.
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). Now enjoying their 20th year together, this tight-knit ensemble is firmly established as an important voice in the world of chamber music.
Thompson: Seven Last Words of the Unarmed
Simon: An Elegy: A Cry from the Grave
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com.
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.