Students in the Loomis Chaffee Orchestra met with award-winning classical musician and composer Carlos Simon while working on their musical interpretation of his original composition, “An Elegy: A Cry From The Grave,” on Friday, January 15.
Mr. Simon, who identifies as Black and Latinx, dedicated “An Elegy” to Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, and Alton Sterling, Black Americans who were killed by police in the past decade. He joined the class via Zoom videoconference.
In keeping with the school’s broader examination of systemic racism in this country and what it means to be anti-racist, the Orchestra is studying how issues of race in America are expressed in music, according to Orchestra Director Netta Hadari. In written reflections for the class, the students remarked that they were inspired by Mr. Simon’s experiences and insights and appreciated the opportunity to learn about addressing emotionally-charged issues such as racial and social injustice through music.
The Loomis musicians, who are meeting only virtually during Winter Term 1, practiced and recorded their individual parts of “An Elegy: A Cry from the Grave,” which were combined into a video recording.
Connect to view the Loomis Chaffee Orchestra’s performance.
Connect to Sound Cloud to view Mr. Simon’s video recording of “An Elegy: A Cry From the Grave.”
For more about Mr. Simon’s music, connect to his professional website.