Montclair State University-Considering Matthew Shepard Concert

Date: December 8, 2019
Time: 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Location: Show map
Alexander Kasser Theater
1 Normal Avenue

Contact: Alexander Kasser Theater
Phone: 973-655-5112

This profound musical program is relevant to cover given the heightened climate of LGBTQ hate crimes in New Jersey.

The concert theme is #EraseHate. It is an initiative intended to educate the community, not just during the performance but through a variety of outreach designed to address the permissible climate of hate crimes on LGBTQ communities.

The John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University will present its annual Crawford Concert Considering Matthew Shepard, by composer Craig Hella Johnson, as a celebration of one man’s life and a demonstration of the healing and unifying power of art.

When Matthew Shepard, a gay man, was brutally beaten and left for dead tied to a fence in Wyoming in 1998, the ugliness and hatred that caused his death was cause for despair for many. In the years since, however, Shepard’s legacy has been one of hope, inspiring a foundation, a federal hate crimes prevention act, and many works of art – including the oratorio Considering Matthew Shepard, which will see its New York City regional and New Jersey debut December 7 and 8 in Montclair, New Jersey.

The fusion oratorio not only challenges musicians technically and delivers for audiences aurally and emotionally, it also answers the mission of the Crawford Concert series and the philosophy of the John J. Cali School of Music Choral Program at Montclair State University.

The concert theme, #EraseHate, will resonate not just throughout the concert but through a variety of on- and off-campus outreach activities “to positively address the ‘permissible climate of hate’ that is disturbingly evident in the world today,” says Buchanan. Students campus-wide will be invited to participate through essays and art. The University will perform outreach to area high school students; and a Post-Performance Talk Back will be moderated by Cathy Renna, a Montclair resident who has worked with the Matthew Shepard Foundation and the Shepard family.

“We will extend a message of love, understanding, hope, forgiveness and justice to all members of our community and the wider world: LGBTQ+ persons, minorities, women and people of all faiths,” says Buchanan.

This event is free but requires registration. Register here.

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