Celebrating the Poetry of Langston Hughes: A concert with the Unsung Collective and the Cerddorion Vocal Ensemble

Event time: 
Saturday, September 23, 2023 - 7:30pm
400 College Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

Join us for a concert celebrating the poetry of Langston Hughes! One of America’s greatest 20th-century poets, Hughes was an important figure in the Harlem Renaissance and made the African American experience the subject of his writings.

The Unsung Collective, conducted by Dr. Tyrone Clinton, Jr., the Cerddorion Vocal Ensemble, conducted by Dr. James John, and pianist Dr. Konstantza Chernov, will perform together in Battell Chapel at Yale. The two guest choirs will perform music celebrating the poetry of Langston Hughes, featuring works by William Averitt, Rosephanye Powell, Joel Thompson, Roland Carter, and Ricky Gordon, among others. The concert is sponsored by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music.

The Unsung Collective is a non-profit organization devoted to celebrating people of color in Western art music. Based in New York City, it performs music that navigates stories of both historic and current events, with aims to stretch the confines of music of the Western canon. The Collective is committed to fostering relationships through collaboration, and sharing art with its audiences, working with some of the World’s most prolific artists. Most recently it pioneered and completed the first residency that opened New York City’s brand New Center for Art, Research, and Alliances (CARA), as part of South African artist Neo Muyanga’s first solo exhibition in the United States entitled A Mass of Cyborgs. As part of her America: A Hymnal series, The Unsung Collective collaborated with Bethany Collins at the historic 15th Street Quaker Meeting House in New York City and in Pennsylvania at Bryn Mawr College. Last fall, the Collective’s orchestra led a performance of Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi - The Four Seasons in Harlem’s Saint Philip’s Episcopal Church. In the summer of 2022, it made its Lincoln Center debut and was the first predominantly Black ensemble to perform for the Mostly Mozart Festival in its 50+ year history. In 2021, the Collective pioneered the World Trade Center’s first Juneteenth Celebration in the same year it was first proclaimed a Federal holiday by President Biden. The group rehearses in Harlem and calls Mother AME Zion Church home, the oldest African-American religious institution in New York City.

The Cerddorion Vocal Ensemble is one of New York’s most highly regarded volunteer choral ensembles. The group is known for its technical excellence, interpretive depth, and wide-ranging repertoire, spanning choral literature from the early Renaissance to world premieres. Cerddorion has been presenting outstanding performances of adventurous programs since 1995.