Saturday, March 9, 2024
Waterfire Arts Center, Providence
Considering Matthew Shepard is a three-part fusion oratorio composed by Craig Hella Johnson and set to poetic text by a wide range of voices: Lesléa Newman, Michael Dennis Brown, Rumi, and 12th-century mystic Hildegard of Bingen. Also included are passages from Matthew's personal journal, interviews, newspaper reports, and writings from his parents, Judy and Dennis Shepard.
The work will be presented by the Providence Singers, a 100-voice concert choir that performs with the Rhode Island Philharmonic. Directed by Christine Noel, they will be joined by guest singers, soloists, a diverse instrumental ensemble, and video.
The Rhode Island Gay Men's Chorus will also perform, opening the concert with selections that include a world premiere of a work by their artistic director, composer Kim Kuda.
Several local LGBTQ+ organizations will be joining the Providence Singers for a pre-concert networking event to share their mission with guests. Organizations interested in participating may request more information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Considering Matthew Shepard demonstrates music's capacity to encompass, transform, and transcend tragedy. Powerfully cathartic, it leads us from horror and grief to a higher understanding of the human condition, enabling us to endure."
--Washington Post, 2016
Rhode Island Gay Men's Chorus
The RIGMC is a gathering of individuals who strive to make a difference in the lives of their singers and their audience. Since their formation twenty-eight years ago, they take every opportunity to uplift and affirm their vision of equity, diversity, and inclusion, and through this vision, their music tells the stories of their lives.
WaterFire Arts Center
The WaterFire Arts Center is the headquarters of Waterfire Providence, as well as a multi-purposes arts venue designed to provide "a transformative space for the entire community." Their mission is to provide arts and cultural opportunities and experiences for all, regardless of social, cultural, or economic background.
Built in 1929 as a manufacturing facility, the Waterfire Arts Center began its transformation in 2012, when Waterfire Providence purchased it and began a five-year renovation. Today the facility hosts The Wilbury Theatre and the Wheeler School's Cityside at Wheeler interdisciplinary learning program. Available for rental, the 15,000-foot Main Hall is an ideal venue for large art installations, group art exhibits, festivals, trade shows, and multi-media performances.
The Providence Singers look forward to singing in this unique space. Our 100-voice choir will be performing with an instrumental ensemble that includes a chamber orchestra, piano, guitar, and several percussion instruments. The music will be accompanied by a video of evocative images, projected onto the hall's 40-feet-high walls.
A section of the Main Hall will be curtained off to provide space for a pre-concert reception and tables for local LGBTQ+ organizations to network with guests during the reception and intermission. Participation is free of charge; tables will be supplied and each participating organization will receive two free tickets to the concert.
The WaterFire Arts Center is located at 475 Valley Street in the Olneyville/Valley neighborhood of Providence. The facility is carefully designed for accessibility and a large parking lot provides ample parking.