Sphinx Virtuosi with Sweet Honey In The Rock and Chicago Children’s Choir

The Harris Theater is co-commissioner of a new collaborative work featuring Sphinx Virtuosi, America’s most celebrated and influential African-American and Latino youth orchestra ensemble. The Sphinx Virtuosi ensemble is part of Sphinx Organization, a national non-profit group focused on youth development and diversity in classical music. Sphinx Organization was founded by Aaron P. Dworkin, President Obama’s first nominee of the National Council on the Arts and a Champion for Change for Arts Education at the White House.

This edition of the work commissioned for Sphinx Virtuosi, created exclusively for Harris Theater, was composed and will be conducted only in Chicago by musician and scholar William “Bill” Banfield and features evocative lyrics by Grammy Award-winning African-American female a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey In The Rock.

These vocalists will be performing as soloists with an orchestra for the very first time, in this one-night-only performance. Young performers from the Chicago Children’s Choir, one of the Theater’s resident companies,
will join these renowned artists for the concert. The Chicago Children’s Choir is led by Josephine Lee, President and Artistic Director.

The new symphony, titled “Affirmations for a New World,” is a co-commission with National Symphony Orchestra
in Washington D.C. and Minnesota Orchestra. This version of the work will be a new edition conducted by Banfield.

Symphony No. 10, Affirmations for a New World
o Prelude
o A Higher Note (lyrics by Aisha Kahlil)
o Dream (lyrics by Carol Maillard)
o The Day The World Awoke (lyrics by Nitanju Bolade Casel)
o Yes (lyrics by Ysaye M. Barnwell)
o Discourse On Change (lyrics by Louise Robinson)

Sponsors for This Event

This engagement is supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a Program of Arts Midwest, generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts with additional contributions from the Illinois Arts Council.

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