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Conducted by Bruce Hangen, Boston Conservatory Orchestra presents powerful works by Bill Banfield, Adolphus Hailstork, and Stefan Thompson in the magnificent Symphony Hall. This performance has been selected as part of Boston Conservatory at Berklee's spring 2022 Center Stage collection.
ADOLPHUS HAILSTORK: Fanfare on Amazing Grace
ADOLPHUS HAILSTORK: Answering the Call *WORLD PREMIERE*
BILL BANFIELD: Symphony No. 4, Streams of Consciousness
ADOLPHUS HAILSTORK: Three Spirituals for Orchestra
STEFAN THOMPSON: NDE: Impressions of a Near-Death Experience *WORLD PREMIERE*
ADOLPHUS HAILSTORK: Crispus Attucks *NEW ENGLAND PREMIERE*
Part One: Defiance and Sacrifice
Part Two: Trial and Redemption
MEZZO-SOPRANO – Nina Evelyn Anderson (M.M. '23, opera)
CRISPUS ATTUCKS – Philip Lima
JOHN ADMAS – Jackson Schroeder (B.M. '22, voice)
Corey Every, co-choirmaster
Nathan Reiff, co-choirmaster
The genesis of this special program came from wanting to celebrate Adolphus Hailstork's birthday—he turns 81 the day after our performance—by offering a major sampling of his works, including his choral work Crispus Attucks, which is based on Boston events amid the Boston Massacre that led to the American Revolution. It is my understanding that Crispus Attucks was performed only once before, and I know Hailstork is excited about having the piece now premiere in Boston.
Additionally, we have commissioned from Hailstork a new piece, Answering the Call. Hailstork explains:
[This piece] is about the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment...best known for its service leading the failed Union assault on...Morris Island, July 1863. This was one of the first major actions in which African American soldiers fought for the Union in the American Civil War....As the 54th marched over the spot of the Boston Massacre of 1770 where Crispus Attucks had fallen, they broke into song, singing “John Brown's Body.”
Also on the program are other works by Hailstork, the Three Spirituals for Orchestra and Fanfare on Amazing Grace.
Because Hailstork has been an educator for many years at Old Dominion University, I've chosen a recent Boston Conservatory graduate, Stefan Thompson (M.M. '21, composition), to compose a new piece for the program, NDE: Impressions of a Near Death Experience. This will be a world-premiere performance of this work.
Finally, expanding our community of musicians one more degree, the program also includes a symphony by Bill Banfield, former director of the Center for African American Studies at Berklee College of Music. As it turns out, Banfield and Adolphus Hailstork are close friends (Banfield helped celebrate Hailstork's 80th birthday last year), so this is an especially meaningful addition to the program.
Conductor, Boston Conservatory Orchestra
ADOLPHUS HAILSTORK: Answering the Call
The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment is best known for its service leading the failed Union assault on Battery Wagner, a Confederate earthwork fortification on Morris Island, on July 18, 1863. This was one of the first major actions in which African American soldiers fought for the Union in the American Civil War. The courage of the soldiers in the 54th convinced many politicians and army officers of their value, prompting the further enlistment of Black soldiers. As the 54th marched over the spot of the Boston Massacre of 1770 where Crispus Attucks had fallen, they broke into song, singing "John Brown's Body." This history is the foundation of the first movement called Answering the Call. The hymn partially quoted is “Bound for the Promised Land,” which first appeared in a selection of hymns in 1787 published by an English Baptist minister. The original American version appeared in 1835.
BILL BANFIELD: Symphony No. 4, Streams of Consciousness
The symphony is built around two melodies recorded by ethnomusicologist Ana Maria Ochoa in Mecana, an African American village of the Pacific Coast of Colombia. Mecana is located in one of the rainiest regions of the world (the Colombian state of Chocó), close to the Pacific Ocean, on the banks of the Mecana River. The melodies are taken from the songs of a thanksgiving ritual called Alumbramiento, which usually takes place in October in the feast of the patron saint of the village. Most of the singers in the Alumbramiento are female. The two melodic fragments used in this piece are from the songs “Vírgen Sangrada María” and “Verbenita Ae,” sung by Nelsa Díaz and Fermina Potes, respectively.
The notion of “streams of consciousness” plays on several ideas simultaneously. The symphony opens with a theme that creates a sonic picture of running water. The melodic motives from Mecana are interspersed in this musical landscape which we encounter once again in the reprise (fourth movement). The percussive section in the fourth movement recalls the tropical rainforest of the Chocó region. But the two motives from Mecana also represent Africans in the diaspora as belonging to one stream of consciousness. The middle two movements, which are the ones that are primarily based on these two themes, feature the melodies against an orchestral backdrop which incorporates African American music from the United States. The North American and Latin American notions of African American spirituality are juxtaposed by bringing together two religious melodies from each region: “Amazing Grace” and “Vírgen Sagrada María” (Sacred Virgin Mary). The continuity between sacred and secular life which characterizes African American cultures throughout the diaspora is expressed in the juxtaposition of Mecana’s sacred melodies with some suggestions of jazz harmonies. These different streams run (flow) throughout the four movements of the symphony bringing together the peoples of the African Diaspora in North and South America.
STEFAN THOMPSON: NDE: Impressions of a Near-Death Experience
For centuries, those that have come in close contact with death have told stories of traveling down a colorful tunnel of light, seeing their life flash before their eyes, and of meeting God, and the souls of loved ones that had passed on before them. It is estimated that between 17–20 percent of people have attested to having a near-death experience, and, to the ears of someone that has not had a near-death experience, these stories can come across as hallucinations of a dying mind. However, these stories are more similar than different, and the common themes across many of these shared experiences is the undeniable feeling of unconditional love, the feeling of overwhelming compassion and empathy for everyone and everything, and the acquired freedom from the fear of death. Whether experienced by the atheist, the agnostic, or the priest, the lessons learned during a near-death experience are similar: no matter who we are and what we have done, we are loved by the power that created the universe and all that is.
Some say God, some say the universe, and some say the divine, but to those that have encountered the Source of Everything, any name is insufficient to describe the sheer power and love that radiates from it.
Although no music or words are adequate to express these themes, NDE is a brief exploration through some of them. Near-death experiencers attest that God, angels, spirit guides, and our loved ones are on the other side helping us navigate and learn from life's many experiences. It is said that they attempt to contact us through signs and symbols that we should identify if we are aware and vigilant. They teach us to love, be compassionate and empathetic, and provide us with countless opportunities to do so. Just as those on the other side use signs to reach us and teach us, NDE is sprinkled with numbers, signs, and Morse Code expressing the message of love. Whether or not we believe such things is minute compared to the truth that is: we are loved.
Texts and Translations
ADOLPHUS HAILSTORK: Crispus Attucks
Part One: Defiance and Sacrifice
My father was African; My mother cradled me in her Indian arms. The history of shadows will say: I did not know who I was. Not true, not true. The shadow of history will say: Lay him low in a common grave; Do not let his human desires rise beyond the echo of the law. But my spirit will live and say: Do not let it be so, not so. What are these shadows in the trees?
What is this fear which drags me to my knees? Not these trees; not this wind; not these leaves, not this soil. Not this place nor this master shall break the determined desire of my heart. Nor shall slavery keep captive, nor tyranny enslave.
Out of the dust come dreams of things we have not seen. Out of the dust grow the seeds of small things we know nothing about. Out of the dust springs desires which annoy the flesh and make the spirit aim to do better. Out of the dust grow dreams from the roots of things we have not seen. Out of the dust comes a man whose pulse is the breath of freedom.
CRISPUS ATTUCKS, CHORUS
The conflict is the fear we see within ourselves. You men and women who stand here today must challenge this inordinate tyranny. My life began when I ran away from slavery; I will humble myself to no man. I will not bend to any act of tyranny. Let each of us as men take the other’s bare hand; let us secure the love we call freedom. Let no strife come near to harm it; let no strife come near to strike it down. Let this be the moment we begin. Restrain your fears; hold steady your grief, let history speak of us as we were.
Simple, dignified, born of a natural pride, seeking to walk free the streets of Boston. My life began when I ran away from slavery. A man must choose his battles.
CRISPUS ATTUCKS, CHORUS
Let us stand arm in arm against tyranny. Let each of us as men take the other’s bare hand. A man must strike! Strike fiercely, clubs and bludgeons! Strike them warringly against each other!
The temper of these men alarms me. Stand off! We guard this station! By God, we will fire!
Strike! Free men strike the bludgeons fiercely! Let our rage be taken out upon them, so they always remember who we are!
You villains at your station, you villains shall remember. You will not forget our fight for freedom! We are men and women of this city. We are the citizens of this place. We will not be afraid. Freedom, not life, is more dear. They will not fire. They dare not fire. I have no gun; I have no powder. Yet with my strong right fist I shall resist this tyranny!
What are these shadows in the trees? What is this fear that brings me to my knees?
Ah! Mourn! Mortally wounded, blood, soul and breath. These five men willingly faced death for freedom, for liberty, for the right to protest! Shout out their names! Call them one by one! Let the streets and bells of Boston speak of the shame.
Crispus Attucks! Samuel Gray! Samuel Maverick! James Calwell! Patrick Carr! Down! Down!
Lower them down; Place them in solid ground which is common to all men. Lower them down; place them under an earthly mound. Let the streets and bells of this town speak of the shame which took place on this night, as we quietly lower them down, as we place them in liberty’s ground.
Part Two: Trial and Redemption
These saucy boys, These Negroes and mulattos, these Irish teagues, these Jack Tars, all stood in defiance of the king’s command. All challenged the king’s authority, led blindly by one Crispus Attucks! Attucks was a Black! Attucks was a slave, a runaway slave. What secrets did he hold in his mind? What treasures did he hold in his heart? What could he have possibly known about freedom? It seems he was a man larger than life itself. What white man in his right mind would follow a slave?You cannot find these soldiers guilty. You must set them free! They stood for the righteous orders of the king. Do not ignore the king's authority! Do not ignore the king's name! It was Crispus Attucks who, with one hand, took hold of the bayonet, and with the fist of his other hand threatened to assault the guard. The guard, in fear of his life, fired! He fired! But what else could he have done but fire, by God!? What else could he have done but stand fast?! Those four others followed blindly against the will of the king. So, if you must find someone guilty, let it be those five who have already paid with their lives. Led by a Black! Led by a slave! By a runaway slave!
When storms arise, and darkening skies about me threatening lower, to thee, O Lord, I raise my eyes; my tortured spirit flies for solace in that hour.
There goes a man wounded for freedom, there goes a man wounded by a king's transgression. He was not like other men
we know; he stood for something. He stood for something more.
The mighty arm will let no harm come near me nor befall me; Thy voice shall quiet my alarms when life's great battle waxeth warm no foeman shall appall me.
Let the souls of those men rise and infect us with the victory they deserve. Let their souls arise and lead us to the freedom we will not be denied! Upon thy breast, secure I rest from sorrow and vexation. The measure of a man is his character in action. The measure of a man is the structure of his thought. The frame of his vision, the power of his faith. No more by sinful cares oppressed, but in Thy presence ever blest. There goes a man wounded for freedom. Oh God, my God, God of my salvation.
I do not know what time will report but this is what I have to say: I offer you my last testament with bare and resolute hands. I salute the joy of liberty which resides in the blood of all free men. Let history say what it will! I raised my fist, I struck a blow for liberty, not for the moment, not for the day or year. This is a call for all who listen, all who will lend an attentive ear. I spent my time on the seas; I turned the land for food; I earned the necessities for life itself. The acts set upon us by the king were wrong! So, we refused to pay him taxes; we refused to pay honor due until he was willing to recognize we were the support of his realm. We were the voice of liberty. And that is why I called upon my compatriots; that is why I let them with bare and resolute hands to strike a blow for freedom! And if you would fully comprehend my actions, seek me in your heart. Seek me in your mind. Seek me in your pulse and you will know the force that drove me as a man, and you will understand my longing. You will understand my need for freedom.
Seek me in your heart, seek me in your mind, seek me in your pulse and understand my longing for freedom!
Understand my need for freedom; Understand my longing. Find me in your heart and you will know what drove me, the longing, the need for freedom!
MEZZO-SOPRANO, CRISPUS ATTUCKS, CHORUS
There goes a man wounded for freedom.
Find me in your heart; Find me in your mind; Find me in your pulse, and know my longing for freedom.
Understand my need for freedom, and know my need for freedom.
Find me in your heart. Find me in your mind, find me in your pulse and you will know, my longing for freedom!
About the Artists
Bruce Hangen, conductor, joined the Boston Conservatory in 2003, where he is director of orchestral activities and professor of conducting. Additionally, Hangen is artistic director and conductor of the Orchestra of Indian Hill, the area's foremost professional freelance symphony orchestra. Formerly music director of the Portland (Maine) and Omaha Symphony orchestras, and founder and conductor of Opera Maine, Hangen has conducted orchestras throughout North America as well as Taiwan, Japan, and New Zealand. Hangen has also conducted the Boston Pops in more than 200 performances, where he was principal guest conductor, and he is the author of Conducting Music Today, a text for developing conductors. Learn more about Hangen here.
Corey Everly, co-choirmaster, is a coach and voice teacher specializing in musical theater styles and technique. He is currently finishing his D.M.A. in choral conducting at Northwestern University, where he studied with Donald Nally. He has an M.A. from Westminster Choir College in piano accompanying and coaching under J.J. Penna and a bachelor’s degree in voice performance. He has conducted more than 30 musical theater and opera productions spanning a wide range of styles. As a voice teacher, his students have been sung across the country by students in various regional theaters and national tours.
Nathan Reiff, D.M.A., co-choirmaster, is an educator and vocalist whose work has brought him before ensembles representing some of the broad diversity of the choral world, including the Young People's Chorus of New York City, the Yale Glee Club, and the Ann Arbor Cantata Singers. Since 2017, Reiff has served as resident conductor of the Harvard Glee Club and faculty member at Boston Conservatory at Berklee. He teaches a survey sequence and elective courses on choral repertoire and conducts Chorale and Choir, two ensembles of undergraduate vocal performance students, and Graduate Choral Ensemble. Beginning in 2019, Reiff has also served as music director of Journey Songs, an interfaith hospice choir. He holds a D.M.A. degree from Yale University and an M.M. from the University of Michigan.
Nina Evelyn Anderson (M.M. '23), soprano, is a Maryland native attending Boston Conservatory at Berklee for her Master of Music in opera performance, studying with Rebecca Folsom. Most recently, she covered the role of Lady Billows in Britten’s Albert Herring at Boston Conservatory. She is overjoyed to be making her Symphony Hall debut as a soloist in the New England premiere of Adolphus Hailstork’s oratorio Crispus Attucks.
Philip Lima, baritone, is assistant chair of Berklee College of Music’s Voice Department, and has sung leading operatic and concert roles across the United States as well as Germany, Italy, Korea, and Ukraine. His repertoire—performed with more than 100 ensembles, including the Boston Pops—has ranged from traditional favorites by Handel, Mozart, Puccini, and Verdi, to important works of twentieth-century masters including Florence Price, to world premieres of operas by jazz greats Leslie Burrs, Nathan Davis, and Mary Watkins, and by award-winning Berklee composer Larry Bell. Learn more about Lima here.
Adolphus Hailstork, D.M.A., composer, received his D.M.A. in composition from Michigan State University, where he was a student of H. Owen Reed. He had previously studied at the Manhattan School of Music, under Vittorio Giannini and David Diamond, at the American Institute at Fontainebleau with Nadia Boulanger, and at Howard University with Mark Fax. Hailstork has written numerous works for chorus, solo voice, piano, organ, various chamber ensembles, band, orchestra, and opera. Learn more about Hailstork here.
Bill Banfield, D.M.A., composer, is also an educator and author who served as professor and director of the Africana Studies Center at Berklee College of Music. Banfield taught at the College from 2005 until his retirement in 2020, and the College recently named him professor emeritus and founding director of Black Music Culture Studies for his service to the institution. Learn more about Banfield here.
Stefan Thompson (M.M. '21), composer, studied under Boston Conservatory at Berklee Professor Eun Young Lee. In 2019, he was awarded the prestigious Harry Moore Award from the Lyford Cay Foundation in the Bahamas, as well as a grant from the Nassau Music Society, for his outstanding work as an artist. He participated in the selective ASCAP/NYU Film Scoring Workshop in New York in 2017, and won several original composition awards from Pensacola Christian College. Thompson firmly believes that representation is important across the board, and aims to be the first full-time Bahamian composer. Learn more about Thompson here.
ORCHESTRA PICCOLO FLUTE OBOE ENGLISH HORN CLARINET BASS CLARINET BASSOON HORN TRUMPET TROMBONE BASS TROMBONE TUBA PERCUSSION HARP PIANO VIOLIN I VIOLIN II VIOLA CELLO DOUBLE BASS CHORUS SOPRANO *Student Ensemble Manager Special thanks to all audience members for viewing this program information online. Viewing this information digitally has saved 300 sheets of paper—that's 31 gallons of water preserved and 27 pounds of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions eliminated. This performance has been selected as part of Boston Conservatory at Berklee's spring 2022 Center Stage collection. Learn more about Center Stage and view all Center Stage performances.
Slater Anton, B.M. '25
Logan Haley, B.M. '24
Aliesha Phillips, M.M. '22
Christian Paniagua, B.M. '23
Daniel Meza, M.M. '23
Danield Meza, M.M. '23
Cheng Lin Yang, M.M. '23
Ning-Chieh Tsai, M.M. '22
Tangjia Xie, M.M. '22
Max Reed, B.M. '24
Lizzie Sylves, B.M. '25
Kate White, B.M. '24
Jenny Lee, M.M. '23
Yun Ju Lu, B.M. '24
Cameron McCarty, B.M. '25
Dominick Neville, B.M. '22
Nick Ochoa, B.M. '22
Robbie Adams, M.M. '23
Emily Hanson, B.M. '22
Bjorn Kydland, B.M. '22
Aidan Davidson, B.M. '24
Lauren Galarraga, B.M. '24
Sean McCarty, B.M. '22
Christian Bartholomew, B.M. '24
James Koo, B.M. '22
Harold Rivas, B.M. '24
William Shi, B.M. '23
Margot Takeda, B.M. '22
Ritvik Yaparpalvi, B.M. '25
Jiayi Liz, B.M. '22
Ani Hutchens, B.M. '25
Gaia Sbeghen, G.P.D. '23
Katy Rose Bennett, B.M. '23
Armando Ortiz, G.P.D. '23
Hansae Kwon, M.M. '23
Che Buford, B.M. '22
Jayna Leach, B.M. '22
Christina Junga, B.M. '23
Raimi Neal, B.M. '25
Kiana Garvey, M.M. '22
Yana Onufriychuk, M.M. '23
Malachi Provenzano, B.M. '22
Danbi Choi, M.M. '22
Maria Hodson, B.M. '23
Xiangru Wei, M.M. '22
Brittany Sterling Young, M.M. '23
Dini Tao, M.M. '22
Elizabeth Taylor, B.M. '25
Rowan Gemma, B.M. '24
Alexander Estrella, B.M. '25
Jiawei Cui, M.M. '22
Letian Feng, B.M. '22
Gloria Fortner, B.M. '25
Annica McDougall, B.M. '25
Yuetong Jia, M.M. '22
Andrea Del Aguila Osollo, G.P.D. '22
Hope DiMaria, B.M. '24
Colton Slaven, B.M. '23
Maria Dupree, M.M. '23
Cedrick McCafferty, B.M. '24
Kaedyn Colton, B.M. '25
Renee Chan, M.M. '23
Lauren Wilson, B.M. '25
Morgan Brown, B.M. '23
Zeynep Yigitoglu, B.M. '25
Jun Hao Li, M.M. '23
Nicholas Johnson, G.P.D. '22
Enrique Hernandez, B.M. '23
Claire Bostick, B.M. '23
Jiacen Shuai, M.M. '22
Jean Taglia, B.M. '23
Elaina Spiro, B.M. '24
Luis Tovar, B.M. '25
Yuwei Huang, P.S.C. '22
Grace Fairweather, M.M. '22
David Amouretti, B.M. '24
Justin Phillips, B.M. '24
Jenny Yi, B.M. '22
Olive Haber, B.M. '23
Nicolette Kindred, B.M. '24
Leo Martinez, B.M. '25
Jacob Slater, B.M. '22
Klara La Guardia
Lucy Mae Martindale
Grace Ann Miller
Karina Mandock Saldivar
Paulina de la Fuente
Montserrat Martinez Buganza
Daniel Esteban Lugo^
^Boston Conservatory at Berklee alumnus
*Student Ensemble Manager
Special thanks to all audience members for viewing this program information online. Viewing this information digitally has saved 300 sheets of paper—that's 31 gallons of water preserved and 27 pounds of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions eliminated.
This performance has been selected as part of Boston Conservatory at Berklee's spring 2022 Center Stage collection. Learn more about Center Stage and view all Center Stage performances.