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Social Justice music with instruments/orchestra

Our Community Social Justice Institute has received a grant to do a big concert as part of a big conference.  The themes are hate crimes, racism, homophobia and compassion. We will have a 40 voice auditioned mixed choir and money to use a small orchestra or group of instrumentalists. I'm looking at Peter Bjerring's "Song of the Salish Chief" but it's quite short. Other suggestions?
Replies (11): Threaded | Chronological
on September 23, 2012 11:13pm
Hi Jo-Anne,
If I may offer, I have a work titled When All is Done for choir and trumpet, which was commissioned by the University of Wyoming Choirs—Nicole Lamartine, Director of Choral Activities—to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the murder of Matthew Shepard. When All is Done is "a memorial to all victims of hatred and oppression" and is dedicated "In memoriam Matthew Shepard (1976–1998)." The work was premiered on April 2, 2009 at the 13th Annual Shepard Symposium on Social Justice at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. The poem is by Paul Laurence Dunbar, the first major African-American poet. I think the work would fit the theme and ocassion of your concert and conference perfectly.
Plesae let me know if you're interested in the piece, and I would be happy to send you a perusal score and a recording.
Also, I have a larger work titled Pietà, which is on the theme of compassion and the need for mercy and love. The work is a 90-minute oratorio scored for soprano and tenor soloists, SATB choir divisi, Male Chanters, Treble Choir, two oboes doubling English Horns, and 2 percussion. Pietà was commissioned by Seattle's Choral Arts and was premiered just this past March conducted by their Artistic Director, Robert Bode. Please let me know if you're interested in knowing more about the piece. You can read a review of the premiere performance at
My website is, and you can reach me at john(a)
All the best on your search for works for this concert and conference!
John Muehleisen
P.S. I notice that you're in British Columbia. I live north of Seattle, so we're practically neighbors! :-)
on September 25, 2012 10:37am
"The Rape of the Lock" deals lightly with large social issues.  A Mock-heroic comedy, it is full of gorgeous language, mesmerizing imagery and humor, yet the subject is women's rights, or in a larger interpretation, the human dignity and respect that is due to all who are outsiders or those at a disadvantage.  The premiere is being planned for 2013, probably Sept.  So if your conference is before that you could do a partial premiere with piano, or with standard orchestra of 35.  It can be tailored to any length you might need, from its full two hours.
The title contains the only strong language in the work, but it clearly conveys the tone for an outrage that is set right, and understanding the true implications of the outrage that lies beneath the lightness and humor.  details are on my website
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