On June 19, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra musicians and IN UNISON Chorus musicians teamed up for a special concert, part of the SLSO On the Go pop-up community concerts.
The congregation of Washington Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church welcomed members of the SLSO for a program of celebration and remembrance in honor of Juneteenth, which was recently named a federal holiday. A string quartet (Hannah Ji and Janet Carpenter, violins; Andrew François, viola; and Alvin McCall, cello) and brass quintet (Wes Skidgel and Mary Weber, trumpets; Tod Bowermaster, horn; Amanda Stewart and Gerry Pagano, trombones) were joined by members of the SLSO IN UNISON Chorus and the chorus' director, Kevin McBeth, for a hourlong concert of music that included works by Florence Price, William Grant Still, George Walker, as well as arrangements of traditional spirituals including "Amazing Grace," "Little Innocent Lamb," and "Deep River." The enthusiastic audience learned about Juneteenth from Kimberly Turner and her mother, Denise Turner, the church's 28-year coordinator for IN UNISON, the SLSO's long-standing community outreach initiative that also includes a chorus that specializes in the performance and preservation of music of African and African American cultures.
Video by Matt Rice, SLSO Video Producer.