Freedom! A Juneteenth Celebration
Tuesday, Jun 18 2024, 7:00pm - 9:00pm CDT. copy to my calendar, iCal export
H-E-B Performance Hall at The Tobin Center 100 Auditorium Circle, San Antonio, TX 78205, United States (map)

Bexar County and the Tobin Center culminate Juneteenth 2024 with a celebration of contemporary choral music. The San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum (SAAACAM) is proud to facilitate this event celebrating the emancipation of the enslaved here in Texas. SAAACAM is collaborating with the Classical Music Institute and the San Antonio Gospel Heritage Choir and friends to present two powerful pieces by composer Joel Thompson, finishing with a classic by Richard Smallwood.
Seven Last Words of the Unarmed is a choral composition by Atlanta-based composer Joel Thompson. The piece contains seven movements, each of which quotes the last words of an unarmed Black man before he was killed. Thompson has said that in composing the piece, he "used the liturgical format in Haydn's The Seven Last Words of Christ in an effort to humanize these men and to reckon with my identity as a black man in this country in relation to this specific scourge of police brutality." He was also inspired by the illustrations of Iranian-American artist Shirin Barghi.

Total Praise- The polish of classical music combined with traditional Black church music, Richard Smallwood penned this gospel classic in October 1995 while shuttling between the hospital and his home caring for a sick mother and a terminally ill godbrother. In spite of the stress, he sat down at the piano in his living room and composed what is now one of the most performed songs by choirs in history.