Alabama Symphony commemorates Civil Rights struggle with two premieres

Posted on: December 6, 2012

In Wednesday’s (12/5) Birmingham News (Alabama), Michael Huebner writes, “Two new compositions by [University of Alabama-Birmingham] music professor Henry Panion III will be premiered Jan. 20, 2013, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of events in Birmingham’s civil rights history. The Alabama Symphony Orchestra will perform the works at its annual ‘Reflect and Rejoice’ tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The ASO commissions are among the first in the city’s yearlong series of events. Along with ASO, the performers will include the Aeolians, from Oakwood College in Huntsville, and a small girls choir from 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. The first work, titled ‘Here We Are,’ composed for a small girls ensemble or female lead with choir and orchestra, is based on the spiritual, ‘Give Me Jesus,’ Panion said. … ‘Send Me Hope,’ a gospel song that Panion arranged and orchestrated to serve as a bookend with ‘Here We Are,’ features gospel singer Maquita Anthony, who co-wrote the song with Panion, Clinton Green and Marc Raby. … ‘Henry’s two new pieces are both deeply personal and speak for Alabamians’ struggle toward equality and justice,’ said ASO Executive Director Curt Long.”

Posted December 6, 2012