May 3 event features original composition, message of world peace
APRIL 26, 2023 BY EDWIN B. SMITH
The University of Mississippi Choirs will present a concert of original music encouraging world peace May 3.
The combined choirs will perform Kyle Pederson’s “… and Justice for All” at 7:30 p.m. in Nutt Auditorium. Admission is free.
The concert is one of the university’s final events celebrating its 60th anniversary of integration this academic year.
Pederson composed the work in 2022. The five movements are “Reach Down, Lord,” “Beat! Beat! Drums!” “All of Me,” “Light Transforms the Darkness” and “I Dream a World.” The composition is scored for narrator, chorus, piano, violin, trumpet and percussion.
“As stated by Mr. Pederson, the overall message from this work is ‘that each of us might reach out beyond our comfort zone and seek to build bridges of care and connection, finding a better way of being in community,’” said Donald Trott, UM professor of music and director of choral activities.
The narrator will be Ethel Young Scurlock, dean of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College.
For several years, the Ole Miss choirs have been actively participating in the nonprofit organization AVoice4Peace. The idea for this group was born at the university in in 2015, when Ken Wakia, director of the Nairobi Chamber Choir in Kenya, presented a collaborative concert in the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.
“Each Sept. 19, we celebrate our stand for peace by singing a song reflective of the day,” Trott said. “For this year, Dr. Fenton decided to pursue a commissioned work that brings the message of peace through choral music.
“Seven choral organizations were contacted, including Ole Miss, to see if all would be part of the commission.”