June 9–16, 2019
Craig Hella Johnson: Considering Matthew Shepard
Gary Thor Wedow, conductor
Green Music Center
Considering Matthew Shepard is a poignant piece of work from Craig Hella Johnson in response to the murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998. Shepard was a young, gay student at the University of Wyoming when he was kidnapped, beaten, and left to die in a field by two men simply because of Shepard’s sexual orientation.
Considering Matthew Shepard is Johnson’s first concert-length work and incorporates a variety of musical styles to take listeners through a range of emotions. The piece includes passages from Matt’s personal journal, interviews and writings from his parents, newspaper reports and a range of poetic and soulful texts, and debuted at #4 on Billboard’s Traditional Classical Chart in September 2016. Craig Hella Johnson has previously conducted with Berkshire Choral International (2006 and 2012), and we are extremely excited to be showcasing his work in 2019. You can read more on this piece here.