The Turtle Creek Chorale performs&nbsp;<i>Anthems</i>
Music and Opera reporting on is made possible by The University of North Texas College of Music.
Select the link below to discover more.

Review: Anthems: The Songs That Shaped the Movements | Turtle Creek Chorale | Moody Performance Hall

Movers and Shapers

The Turtle Creek Chorale delivers an effective and moving concert of songs that shaped movements by marginalized peoples.

published Sunday, March 25, 2018

Photo: Terry Wolfe
The Turtle Creek Chorale performs Anthems


Dallas — The Turtle Creek Chorale presented a serious concert on Friday. By this I mean that it was all music, without any of the comedy sketches that are usually a part of the TCC experience.

The inspiring not-to-be-missed concert entitled Anthems featured songs that drove the struggle for civil rights by all marginalized peoples in the country; as well as a world premiere.

With a combination of soloists, small groups of singers, the Soundbytes dancers, a string quintet, piano and the full 200 plus chorale, music director Sean Baugh led a concert that was filled with beautiful singing and also packed an emotional wallop.

There were recorded quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Mayor Harvey Milk. Tributes were delivered to Harriet Tubman, the anti-Vietnam war effort, and even touched on gun violence. It started out with “We Shall Overcome” and ended with the same music, but, by the end, we all believed that we would.

The Vietnam era was represented by familiar selections such as Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence” and Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind.” The African-American movement was represented by “MLK” by U2, “Harriet Tubman” by Rollo Dilworth and Eloise Greenfield, and the anthem of the movement, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

The LGBT movement was ever present by implication but never more so than the singing of “Over the Rainbow.” Positive vibes were created by songs such as “This Little Light of Mine” and “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from the musical version of Hairspray.

The world premiere is a four-movement (each movement by a different composer) called Peacekeepers. There are extensive program notes and it is highly recommended that you read them before experiencing the piece. Supertitles, or enough light in hall to follow the words in the program, would have helped. All of the texts, by Charles Anthony Silvestri, are inspired by one of the statements of Jesus in the Beatitudes: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God” (Mathew 5:9). The musical language runs from contemporary choral with pop and jazz and mostly gospel musical languages.

The first movement, “The Way of Trust” composed by Andrea Ramsey, recommends “…the middle way” that “must be our path today.”

The second movement, with music by the poet, was the most moving and somewhat shocking. The Peacemaker here is the Colt .45. “…The revolver that tamed the Wild West.” The poem laments that the “peacemaker” killed friend and foe alike. Peace did not arrive; only emptiness. The movement ends with the observation that there is only one life left for the Colt to take: that is the poet himself.

The third movement, “Stand Up,” composed by Gerald Gures, deals with social justice. As the refrain “stand up” for justice repeated, more and more in the audience stood to a “… answer that call.”

The final movement, “Blessed are the Peacemakers,” composed by James Eakin III, is an expansion on Mathew 5:9 and brought the cycle to an inspiring closing.

Overall, this is an excellent concert, magnificently performed, and movingly experienced. It may be a “message concert” but it is also great music. Thanks For Reading

View the Article Slideshow
Click or Swipe to close
Movers and Shapers
The Turtle Creek Chorale delivers an effective and moving concert of songs that shaped movements by marginalized peoples.
by Gregory Sullivan Isaacs

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web

Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:

Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:

TheaterJones Section:

Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  

Your Name:
Your Email Adress:

please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :