Juneteenth celebrations by Chicago Sinfonietta, Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative, South Bend Symphony

Posted on: June 17, 2021

Several orchestras and music organizations have announced events marking Juneteenth, the holiday observed on June 19 to commemorate the formal ending of slavery in the United States. Among them are the Chicago Sinfonietta, which on June 19 will perform at Chicago’s DuSable Museum from 1 to 5 p.m. in a program called Earth and the Alter, described as a sonic exploration of migrations, principles of freedom, and liberation through music, dance, food, and fellowship traditions. The program is curated by DJ/sound artist Sadie Woods and composer/cornetist Ben LaMar Gay. Performances will feature Chicago Sinfonietta musicians Karla Galva and Edith Yokley; Sinfonietta Project Inclusion Fellows Najette Abouelhadi, Fahad Awan, and Seth Pae; conductor Kedrick Armstrong; guest Joshua Mhoon; and students of Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative. The Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative will host its own free virtual celebration on June 19 at 6:45 p.m., with performers to include bassist/composer Xavier Foley and bassist/music educator Joseph Conyers, acting associate principal bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra. To register for the free CMPI event, click here. Indiana’s South Bend Symphony Orchestra will host a Juneteenth celebration on June 19 at 9 p.m. on WNIT, Michiana PBS, also streamed online at www.wnit.org/programs/schedule. The hour-long televised program celebrating Juneteenth through stories, music, and poetry will feature a 12-musician string ensemble from the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, Music Director Alastair Willis, and guest speakers, hosted by Symphony Board Member Dr. Marvin V. Curtis. The program will include music by Jessie Montgomery, Joseph Boulogne, William Grant Still, and George Walker.