Music of Social Justice

Music of Social Justice

"Music of Social Justice"

2017-2017 Events 

Wind Ensemble (10/28/2017, 8pm): "Philadelphia Voices: Women Composers in Concert" Launching a season of concerts that highlight women composers, this program presents works by women composers: Mysterium by Jennifer Higdon, Shadja-maalika by Asha Srinivasan, and the east-coast premiere of Broadloom by Philadelphian Kala Pierson. At least two featured composers will be in attendance at the concert to speak with the audience and introduce their music. The Rowan University Wind Ensemble will be joined onstage by the excellent Philadelphia Wind Symphony (Paul Bryan, conductor).

Guest Lecture & Student Student Discussion (Date TBD): Dr. Colleen Sears, Assistant Professor of Music at TCNJ, will lead a discussion about her research and experience with the intersection of music and social justice.

String Ensemble (11/5/2017, 7pm): "Remembering the Past - Anticipating the Future" This concert features "Dabke" from A Voice Exclaiming by Syrian composer Kareem Roustom. The String Ensemble will also perform Dmitri Shostakovich's powerful Chamber Symphony, Op. 110a (from String Quartet No. 8), which was written in 1960 and dedicated to "the victims of fascism and the war."

Percussion Ensemble & Concert Band (3/1/2018, 8pm): "Coalition of Sound: Music of Labor Equality" The concert begins with a performance of Louis Andriessen's unforgettable Workers Union for massive percussion ensemble; the Concert Band then performs music that celebrates workers' rights throughout history, including Gustav Holst's Song of Blacksmith and Elena Roussanova Lucas' Harvesting the Fields in Russia.

Wind Ensemble (3/5/2018, 8pm): "El Muro: The Walls That Divide Us" Denis DiBlasio, Rowan professor of jazz and composition, has composed a piece inspired by the poetry of Maya Angelou. The Wind Ensemble performs the world premiere of this new work, along with Ricardo Lorenz's El Muro ("The Wall"). Finally, Dr. Rie Suzuki performs Jonathan Leshnoff's new concerto for clarinet and winds, which was comissioned in part by the Rowan University Wind Ensemble.

Concert Choir (3/3/2108, 8pm): "Mother Earth & Her People" The concert features Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw's To the Hands, a work for voices and strings inspired by the unimaginable struggles of homelessness and displacement; other concert selections focus on issues of environmental sustainability. 

Vocal Recital (Date TBD): "Let Your Voice Be Heard: A Reflection of Songs and Readings on Social Justice" Presented by Rowan faculty and students.

Play On, Philly! (Date TBD): Rowan University musicians collaborate with Play On, Philly! (an after-school music program for high school students) in rehearsal and performace. 

String Ensemble (4/21/2018, 8pm): "Thinking (WAY) Outside The Box" This concert features African-American composer Jessie Montgomery's Voodoo Dolls for string orchestra, which includes "foot-stomping African rhythms, ... electric guitar-like riffs, and just a scent of bluegrass."

Concert Choir & Wind Ensemble (4/28/2018, 8pm): "Music of Social Justice" This culminating event features music that focuses on gender inequality and civil rights issues. The program includes Aldophus Hailstork's American Guernica, a music meditation on the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, AL, as well as a performance of Anthony Plog's Magdalene, a cantata about a treatment facility in Nashville, TN, for victims of abuse and human trafficking. The concert features special guests soloists and narrators. 


The schedule of events (above) is still growing and subject to change, so please return to the website regularly for updated information. If you are interested in participating in our series or learning how you can become involved, please contact Dr. Joseph Higgins, Director of Bands ( To go to the Music Department Website, Click Here.

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