Composition for Abolition: Sound Off Changes the Times One Note at a Time
Planetary Music Virtual Livestream

Composition for Abolition: Sound Off Changes the Times One Note at a Time


Sat, February 27, 2021 7:00 PM, EST

Pay what you can

Part of the Celebrating Black Artistry series

Planetary Music M. Groupmuse Partner
856 of 1000 spots still available
Drinking policy
Bring your own drinks
Toilet with a slash through it
No bathroom at this event

This is a livestreaming Groupmuse Virtual Concert

A live virtual performance with community videochat and a Q&A with the artists.


Jay J. (they/them) Co-host

Revive masterworks by Florence Price with violinists Njioma Grevious and Curtis Stewart, violist Kayla Williams, and cellist Thapelo Masita. Explore the intersection of the “de-neutralization” and contextualization of sound with contemporary composer Yaz Lancaster. And witness acclaimed community organizer, Tatiana Hill, share her lived experience within liberatory processes and the challenges of fighting mass incarceration and racism.

Join Sound Off: Music for Bail’s movement to transcend mass incarceration and institutional racism. Money raised will benefit the Bail Project’s National Revolving Bail Fund and Sound Off’s own work in educating audiences about the realities of the U.S. prison-industrial complex and mobilizing musicians and students to work towards change in their own communities.

What's the music?

Yaz Lancaster - Neutral Objects (full version premiere)
Florence Price - Five Negro Folksongs in Counterpoint
George Walker - Lyric for Strings


Violinist Njioma Grevious of Washington, DC, is an avid chamber and orchestral musician and a student of Ronald Copes at Juilliard. Recently, she won a Keston-Max Fellowship to study and perform with the London Symphony Orchestra. In 2018, she won First Prizes for Performance and Interpretation in the Prix Ravel chamber music competition in France, and participated in a masterclass with the Caildore String Quartet at Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center with the Abeo Quartet. In 2019, along with her quartet colleagues, she won a Silver Medal in the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition, and appeared on WQXR Midday Masterpieces and WETA Classical Radio as well as in performances at Alice Tully Hall, The Kennedy Center, in Montreal, and Oslo, Norway. Njioma has been invited to participate in numerous summer festivals including the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, Montreal International String Quartet Academy, Meadowmount, Fontainebleau Schools and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.
She has been a member of the Montclair Orchestra, a concertmaster with the Juilliard Wind Orchestra, and has performed on tour in Germany, the Czech Republic, The Netherlands, Spain, Argentina and more as a member of the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. For many years Njioma was a scholarship recipient through Boston’s Project STEP string training program for youth. During that time she enjoyed the special privilege of performing in a quartet for President and Mrs. Obama at a White House State Dinner. Throughout her life, Njioma has regularly shared her love of music as a frequent performer in nursing homes and assisted living residences. She continues her outreach as a Juilliard Gluck fellow.

Grammy nominated violinist Curtis Stewart enjoys an eclectic career bouncing between various realms of music: from MTV specials with Wyclef Jean and sold out shows at Madison Square Garden with Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, and Seal, to stints at the Kennedy center with the Jimmy Heath Big Band and performance installations at the Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, and Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
Curtis has performed as a classical soloist at Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall, as a special guest soloist/curator with the New York Philharmonic, made chamber music appearances at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Newport Jazz Festival. His ensembles PUBLIQuartet and The Mighty Third Rail realize a vision to find personal and powerful connections between styles, cultures and musics. Curtis has worked with today's forward thinking musicians including Henry Threadgill, Alicia Hall-Moran and Jason Moran, Mark O’Connor, members of International Contemporary Ensemble, Billy Childs, Diane Monroe, the JACK quartet, members of Snarky Puppy, Don Byron, Linda Oh, Ari Hoenig, Matt Wilson, among many others.
An avid teacher, he has taught Chamber Music and “Cultural Equity and Performance Practice” at the Juilliard School, directed several orchestras and levels of music theory at the LaGuardia High School for Music & Art and Performing Arts for ten years, and is currently the Chamber Music and New Juilliard Ensemble Manager at the Juilliard School, in New York City. Curtis graduated magna cum laude from the Eastman School of Music with a BA of Mathematics from the University of Rochester.

Violist Kayla Williams is an advocate for music, who hopes to diversify music through her own experiences as a Black woman. Originally from Florida, Kayla’s music endeavors began on the violin at age four, joining the Tallahassee Youth Orchestra soon after. It wasn’t until age ten that she discovered her true passion, the viola. As a winner of the 2018 Lynn Concerto Competition, she made her concerto debut performing Bartok’s Viola Concerto.
Williams has been the guest of music festivals across a range of music genres including the Aspen Music Festival and School, Eastern Music Festival, and the Florida Folk Festival. Williams received her Bachelor of Music degree in Viola Performance from the Lynn Conservatory of Music in Boca Raton, Florida and is now pursuing her Master of Music degree in Viola Performance at The Juilliard School in New York City.
Kayla believes music should be accessible to students of all backgrounds. She aspires to create a foundation of her own that will provide access and funding needed to support music programs in underrepresented communities.

Thapelo Masita uses his music to help further the arts in his home country of South Africa. He earned a Bachelor of Music in cello performance from the Eastman School of Music in 2017 and a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School in 2019. Through a faculty position at the Opportunity Music Project and a fellowship in the Music Advancement Program - a Juilliard-sponsored Community Engagement Initiative, Masita has been able to serve young people from underrepresented communities. Masita is a founding member of the Uhuru String Quartet, which seeks through artistic collaborations and performance to connect and empower women who have experienced domestic violence and homelessness. The Quartet has commissioned and performed a new quartet by Japanese-American composer Sato Matsui, and has collaborated on several occasions with Pulitzer Prize winning composer Caroline Shaw.
Masita is the founder and executive director of the Bokamoso International Chamber Music Festival and Workshop in South Africa, which aims to share the joys of music with local communities while providing high level training to promising youths from around the country. Thapelo is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree at CUNY Graduate Center where he works with Julia Lichten. He performs on a cello made by Oded Kishony, on generous loan to him by the Virtu Foundation.

Tatiana Hill (she/her) is a New York-based community organizer working to build political power with and for marginalized Black people, especially as it relates to ending mass incarceration and the systems that perpetuate it. Her advocacy work started as a labor organizer. She is one of the two original organizers that created the first union in any Verizon Wireless store in the country. Tatiana works as a constituent advocate for the progressive Senator Jabari Brisport. Hill previously worked with VOCAL-NY, a grassroots power building organization where she organized and advocated for formerly incarcerated people in its Civil Rights Union.

Interested in hearing about more events like this? You may want to subscribe to our Planetary Music mailing list:

Comments (4)

Comment sections are only for participants.


De'Siree N. Emcee
Norma N.
David H.
Francesca A.
Sherman A.
Yaz L.
Linda T.
Dorothy R.
H Daniel M.
Mickey O.
Daniel R.
Curt M.
Lisa L.
Paul R.
Ana Luna U.
Judith C.
Shellie B.
Rosemary N.
Becky B.
Dara H.
Micah G.
Christos V.
Lee C.
Tomas B.
Hannah C.
Sarah C.
Marcie K.
Violetta M.
Carolina D.
Melissa P.
Anna B.
Sarah Elizabeth H.
Infinity W.
Laura G.
Christian H.
Leah S.
Janice L.
Lisa L.
Emily C.
Larry L.
Mini L.
Pablo O.
Natasha Tina L.
Elizabeth M.
Ernest W.
Josh B.
Abby D.
Julie Thompson-Dobkin (She/Her)
Sharon H.
Connie L.
Kyra C.
Kester A.
Max O.
Mark S.
Kathy N.
Mandie S.
Sarah S.
Roberta H.
Rebecca L.
Maggie D.
Kelsey F.
Denise W.
Emma R.
Chaser C M.
Stella P.
Michael G.
Lisa L.
Meg P.
Catrin D.
William C.
Jon C.
Tyler N.
Betsy M.
Ron G.
Jill C.
Hajnal P.
Carrie F.
Damien A.
Leonard B.
Natalia P.
Dallas N.
Jovani W.
Coleman R.
Annette W.
Maurice C.
Clara C.
Kyle B.
Kel D.
Allison R.
Meredith B.
James R.
Deborah M.
Graham R.
Byrd L.
Patrick M.
Kristin B.
Patrick W.
Alison R.
Jay D.
Norma Smith W.
Rory M.
Catherine D.
Danielle G.
Allison S.
Juakita B.
Sheila M.
Joshua R.
Bernard H.
Claudette G B.
Francisca S.
Griffin B.
Janine B.
Francesca L.
Sharon B.
Beatrice Z.
Matt B.
John P.
Eleanor G.
Xan J.
Meara O.
Henry D.
George E.
Jarvis B.
James K.

Other events in this series