“#elijah”: composer John Wineglass’s tribute to a slain Black musician

Posted on: November 15, 2021

“Composer John Christopher Wineglass has earned a reputation on the Central Coast for writing and performing music that celebrates nature and people and offers reflections on times we are living through,” writes Barbara Rose Shuler in Friday’s (11/12) Voice of Monterery Bay (CA). “His latest work celebrates the life of Elijah McClain, the young Colorado man who died after an encounter with law enforcement that resulted in indictments against police officers. The piece, ‘#elijah,’ will premiere this weekend at the Cape Symphony in Hyannis, Mass…. Wineglass was moved by news of the August 2019 tragedy…. Police officers put [McClain] in a chokehold that blocked his carotid artery. McClain died in the hospital…. Like Wineglass, McClain was a Black musician—a violinist—and Wineglass was inspired by the commission to tell the story…. The Cape Symphony artistic director and conductor Jung-Ho Pak, who commissioned ‘elijah,’ will conduct the work. Pak, who also lives on the Monterey Peninsula … is one of the four finalists for … music director of the Monterey Symphony…. Last summer, Wineglass was named composer-in-residence for the Monterey Symphony. His five-year contract calls for a new work each year.”