On June 19, 2022, musicians from the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and IN UNISON Chorus teamed up for a special concert honoring Juneteenth.
The congregation of Greater Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church welcomed members of the SLSO for a program of celebration and remembrance in honor of Juneteenth. The Sunday afternoon concert featured beloved works from Black musical expression, hymns, spirituals, and remarks from Reverend Earl Nance, Jr., IN UNISON Chorus Director Kevin McBeth, and composer Terrence Abernathy.
A trombone quartet of Timothy Myers, Amanda Stewart, Jonathan Reycraft, and Gerard Pagano opened the concert with "Lift Every Voice and Sing." Vocalists from the IN UNISON Chorus Rochelle Calhoun, Alayna Epps, Nadia Maddex, and Michelle Byrd joined a string quintet of Emily Ho and Lisa Chong, violins, Andrew François, viola, Yin Xiong, cello, and Aleck Belcher, bass.
The IN UNISON program includes the SLSO's long-standing community outreach initiative also includes a chorus that specializes in the performance and preservation of music of African and African American traditions.
The SLSO's IN UNISON program began in fall 1992 in partnership with the St. Louis Clergy Coalition to broaden connections between the SLSO and the greater St. Louis community through partner churches. What began as a pilot program with five African American partner churches has grown to 33 partner churches today, a groundbreaking chorus dedicated to the performance and preservation of music of African and African American tradition, and an Academy dedicated to providing coaching, mentorship, and college assistance to more than 200 youth and young adults.
IN UNISON is presented by Bayer Fund.