Sound Off: Music for Bail Presents “Our Anthem: An Orchestral Activation”
Church

Sound Off: Music for Bail Presents “Our Anthem: An Orchestral Activation”

West Village

Fri, April 5, 2024 6:00 PM, EDT

Pay the musicians
Vaccine policy
COVID vaccination with booster required (honor system)
Testing policy
COVID testing not required
Indoors
This is an indoor event
Mask policy
Masks are required for the entire groupmuse
Greeter checks
Greeter will confirm safety precautions
If you feel sick, stay home
Drinking policy
Bring your own non-alcoholic drinks
Wheelchair access
Wheelchair Accessible
Kids
Kid-friendly event

This is a groupmuse

A live concert in a living room, backyard, or another intimate space. They're casual and friendly, hosted by community members.

Host

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Sound Off: Music for Bail

NOTE: Music begins at 7 PM, and there is a pre-show letter-writing event at 6 PM that all attendees are invited to!

Bringing together an ensemble of 19 musicians, string quartet soloists Justus Ross, Josh Henderson, Kayla Williams, and Angelique Montes, and conductor Christina Morris, Sound Off: Music for Bail presents an evening of music and discussion at the Church of the Village (201 W 13th St.) in collaboration with queer liberation organization Black and Pink NYC. Featured speaker Jennifer Love Williams of Black and Pink NYC will speak about community advocacy, decarceration, and the need to support re-entering citizens. In addition, Black and Pink NYC will lead audience members in a pre-show letter-writing event, connecting them to currently incarcerated queer individuals in need of support.

In choosing the works and composers for this concert, Sound Off sought to address the question: What does a national anthem mean for people historically treated as second-class citizens? Beginning with an original arrangement of J. Rosamund Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, commonly referred to as the Black National Anthem, the program explores the interlocking history of US racial policies and Black musical traditions through three leading American composers: Jessie Montgomery (“Banner”), Michael Abels (“Delights and Dances”), and Frederick Tillis, whose “Niger Symphony” will be receiving its NYC premiere.

General admission tickets are $20, and proceeds from this concert directly supports musicians and speakers. Free tickets and livestream accessibility will be available at request to remove financial and physical barriers to attendance.

Sound Off: Music for Bail is a POC-led collective of musicians, activists, and thinkers dedicated to combining music performance with educational work that envisions alternatives to the current state of policing and imprisonment in the U.S. Sound Off: Music for Bail’s concert programming during the 2023-2024 concert season is funded by community support and grants from the Surdna Foundation, the YoungArts Foundation, the Copland Fund, the Groupmuse Foundation’s Planetary Music Movement, and NewMusicUSA’s New Music Organization Fund.

What's the music?

J. Rosamund Johnson - Lift Every Voice (arr. Jay Julio)
Jessie Montgomery - Banner
Michael Abels - Delights and Dances

Mid-concert talk by Jennifer Love Williams from Black and Pink NYC

Frederick Tillis - Niger Symphony (NYC premiere)

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BIOS:

Christina Morris is an aspiring conductor with an energetic and unforgettable presence. She has studied under reputable artists such as Michael Tilson Thomas, Neeme Järvi, Mark Gibson, Mark Shapiro, and Stefan Asbury. She has conducted at the Tanglewood Music Festival as a conducting seminarian. She has also attended master classes at the New World Symphony, as well as Juilliard. As an aspiring orchestral conductor with a unique background in the classical music industry, she is looking to promote the artistic value of underrepresented and underestimated identities. Her overall goal as an artist is to ignite and expose the classical music community to the possibility of change or what she considers, true diversity.

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Justus Ross has completed degrees in violin performance at Texas Tech University, University of Southern California, and New England Conservatory. Along with his TTU studies, Ross performed with the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra and was the associate concertmaster of the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra. While at USC, Justus was a finalist in the school's concerto competition, and a member of the Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee. During his time at NEC, he won first prize in the Dorothy Bales competition where he was loaned a Guarneri violin. While completing his graduate degrees he performed and toured with ensembles such as Fermata, Myrska trio, American Youth Symphony, Juventas, Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra and Griot Quartet. He now resides in New York City where he performs in musicals, orchestras and chamber groups. Among them have been Watch Night directed by Bill T. Jones, Ms. Lauryn Hill & The Fugees orchestra, and the Princeton Symphony Orchestra.

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JOSH HENDERSON is enjoying a multi-faceted career as a cross-genre violinist, violist, and composer. As a classical soloist, he has performed with many ensembles, including the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, China Performing Arts Broadcasting Troupe, and Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra. His compositions include a full length Ballet for Caliince Dance company, "Marie: Embroidering Survival", premiered at Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, a concerto-grosso for the Cavani Quartet, "A Bop for Bridge", and his piece, "Veni: A Dystopian Cowgirl Fantasy for violin and fixed electronics" was a winner of the 2022 Tribeca New Music National Competition. Josh has recently released “One More Night”, his debut album featuring an evening length composition for nonet, under the Innova Record Label as a winner of their national call for projects.

Josh studied at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with Prof. Kurt Sassmannshaus, and at New York University with Prof. Naoko Tanaka. He has served on the faculty at the University of Iowa (Grant Woods Visiting Professor), and currently is on the artist faculty at NYU and The Longy School of Music in Cambridge.

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Originally from Florida, Kayla Williams began playing the violin at age four then at age ten 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 including the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Florida Folk Festival, and the 2022 Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival. Williams has both live and recorded performances with Grammy Award winner Jon Batiste, The Jonas Brothers, and Halsey.

As a recitalist, Williams has performed in concert series around the country, including Lyric Chamber Music Society, the Island Concert Association February Festival in St. Simons Island, GA, Trinity Concert Series, the Warner Robins Community Concert Association, Oxford College of Emory University, and the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Guest Artist Music Series. Kayla’s dedication to genre bending experiences includes regularly performing with her quartet. The ensemble explores a multidisciplinary approach to contemporary chamber music. The ensemble strives to bridge the gaps between classical, jazz, folk, and roots music, bringing each of these musical communities into conversation and collaboration. Williams serves as the group’s violist, vocalist, and composer. She created the ensemble while looking for a way to get back to some of her earliest experiences in music, where the boundaries between genre and style were often much more permeable than they appeared during her classical training.

Williams earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Viola Performance from the Lynn Conservatory of Music in Boca Raton, Florida and a Master of Music degree in Viola Performance from the Juilliard School in New York City. She is also the recipient of the 2021-2023 Juilliard Career Advancement Fellowship.

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Cellist, Angelique Montes, had her solo debut in 2010 as the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra Concerto Competition winner. She received her Bachelor’s in Cello Performance at the Oberlin Conservatory, where she studied with Amir Eldan. She then earned her master’s degree from the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, under the guidance of Matthew Zalkind; and studied with Alan Rafferty at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, where she received a doctoral degree.

Montes has participated in masterclass for world renowned artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, the Marsalis family, Midori, Zuill Bailey, and more. She has attended major summer music festivals where she has performed all over the country and world. During the summer of 2022, Montes released her debut album, “Refraction”, which highlights solo cello pieces by black composers as well as electroacoustic music.

In addition to cello and music, Angelique enjoys baking/cooking, listening to podcasts, playing ping-pong, and drinking tea.

Where does this music come from?

In choosing the works and composers for this concert, Sound Off sought to address the question: What does a national anthem mean for people historically treated as second-class citizens? Beginning with an original arrangement of J. Rosamund Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, commonly referred to as the Black National Anthem, the program explores the interlocking history of US racial policies and Black musical traditions through three leading American composers: Jessie Montgomery (“Banner”), Michael Abels (“Delights and Dances”), and Frederick Tillis, whose “Niger Symphony” will be receiving its NYC premiere.

Location

Exact address sent to approved attendees via email.

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