Photo Credit: Danny Brod
Craig Hella Johnson
Grammy-winning composer and conductor Craig Hella Johnson will lead UGA student performers through “Considering Matthew Shepard,” a composition that provides a musical framework for honoring Shepard’s life while reflecting on the tragic event that brought international attention to hate-crime legislation. In 1998, the University of Wyoming student was tortured, tied to a fence and left for dead during an attack motivated in part by anti-gay sentiments. The piece weaves together a multitude of musical styles—chant, folk, country, choral and gospel—to represent various viewpoints. While emotionally challenging, the work hopes to inspire listeners to prevent history from repeating itself.
This oratorio, composed and conducted by Grammy winner Craig Hella Johnson, will be performed by the UGA Hodgson Singers and Glee Clubs. In 1998, Matthew Shepard was attacked by two men, tied to a fence outside Laramie, WY, and left to die. Johnson's oratorio pulls inspiration from passages of Shepard's person journal, interviews with his parents and writings by several poets. See Calendar Pick on p. 24.