‘An African American Requiem’ National Syndication
On Saturday, May 7, 2022, All Classical Portland presented a live, bi-coastal broadcast of the world premiere of Damien Geter’s An African American Requiem in collaboration with WQXR in New York. All Classical Portland and WQXR are now offering the hour-long event as a syndicated program to radio stations across the country free of charge. This syndication will give stations the opportunity to share Geter’s important and timely work with listeners regionally and throughout the United States.
The broadcast is hosted by WQXR’s Terrance McKnight and All Classical Portland’s Suzanne Nance, and was produced by Sarah Zwinklis and Eileen Delahunty. Learn more about the syndication of this program at prx.org.
ABOUT AN AFRICAN AMERICAN REQUIEM
Commissioned by Resonance Ensemble, Damien Geter‘s An African American Requiem had its long-awaited world premiere performance at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, Oregon in May 2022. The premiere was broadcast live by All Classical Portland and WQXR in New York. The Oregon Symphony performed with the African American Requiem Choir, made up of singers from Resonance Ensemble, Kingdom Sound Gospel Choir, and other Portland-based choirs. William Eddins conducted, and Resonance Ensemble’s Artistic Director Dr. Katherine FitzGibbon prepared the chorus. The concert also featured a quartet of renowned African American opera singers: Brandie Sutton, soprano; Karmesha Peake, mezzo-soprano; Bernard Holcomb, tenor; and Kenneth Overton, baritone.
An African American Requiem incorporates traditional requiem mass parts, African American spirituals, as well as texts from civil rights activists Ida B. Wells and Jamilia Land. It also includes the last words spoken by Eric Garner, a line from a poem by Antwon Rose, and words written and performed by Portland poet Dr. S. Renee Mitchell.
Find the digital concert program as well as resources for processing this important and powerful work on Resonance Ensemble’s website.
PRAISE AND PRESS FOR AN AFRICAN AMERICAN REQUIEM
- Perpetual light shining on the saints: The long-awaited premiere of Geter’s ‘Requiem’
An African American Requiem raises the roof in world premiere performance.
James Bash, Oregon ArtsWatch – May 18, 2022
- Damien Geter: Creating with Resonance
In the vocal ensemble, the composer of this weekend’s African American Requiem found the ideal partner to make a musical milestone.
Brett Campbell, Oregon ArtsWatch – May 7, 2022
- Damien Geter’s Original Musical Work “An African American Requiem” Debuts This Weekend
The Portland composer’s creation is dedicated to Black Americans who lost their lives to racist violence.
Bennett Campbell Ferguson, Willamette Week – May 4, 2022
- In Portland premiere, African American Requiem honors souls of those killed by racist violence
A new Portland classical music performance about to attract national attention got its start more than five years ago when Damien Geter, an internationally known opera singer and composer, was at a New Year’s Eve Party.
Tom Hallman Jr., The Oregonian – May 4, 2022
- Big audience expected for ‘An African American Requiem’
Through music, Damien Geter examines 400 years of racial violence inflicted on Black Americans.
Jason Vondersmith, The Portland Tribune, May 2 2022
- Live Broadcast of World Premiere An African American Requiem
“As a Black composer in today’s America, I feel like I’ve been writing this my entire life,” says Damien Geter. “I was hoping there would be a time we wouldn’t need this piece, but I think we always will. I hope An African American Requiem leads to important action that affects change.”
The Skanner News – April 7, 2022
- More recent press for the Requiem on resonancechoral.org
All Classical Portland’s broadcast and syndication of An African American Requiem are generously sponsored by First Republic Bank.
First Republic Bank was founded in 1985 by Jim Herbert on the belief that a truly differentiated culture devoted to exceptional client service would result in a successful banking business. First Republic strives to continually foster an inclusive and diverse environment, where a variety of voices are heard and valued. They are committed to supporting their colleagues and the community, while doing their part in advocating for and advancing equality. Learn more at firstrepublic.com.