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.
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