New England Conservatory’s Black Student Union honors legacy of alumna Coretta Scott King and the school’s Black students and faculty with
Continuation of a Dream: Requiem
Airing on Thursday, February 25, event includes performance, film and stories
The BSU will also present ten streaming events
Coretta Scott King bust
New England Conservatory’s Black Student Union presents Continuation of a Dream: Requiem, its annual celebration of the life and contribution of NEC alumna Coretta Scott King ’54, ’71 hon. DM and of Black students and faculty throughout the conservatory's history. The pre-recorded one-hour event will be streamed at 8 p.m. EST on Thursday, February 25, 2021.
The celebration will highlight the stories of students past and present. Requiem, a Mass for the repose of the souls of the dead, creates a space in the conservatory to truly reflect and give power to the Black lives that have been unjustifiably lost over centuries in America. The streamed event includes spoken word, music, dance, digital art, and interviews with featured performers including Lemuel Marc, Naledi Masilo, Zoe Cagan, Joseph Borsellino, Nnamdi Odita-Hannah, Zabriel Rivers, and Caleb Smith. Among the pieces to be performed are Caleb Smith’s “Nostalgia” for saxophone, drums, bass, piano, and guitar; Allison Loggins-Hull’s “Homeland” performed by flutist Zoe Cagan; “Thina Sizwe,” a traditional South African protest song performed by Naledi Masilo; “Fables of Faubus” by Charles Mingus, arranged by Lemuel Marc and performed by NEC students Marc, William Mabuza, Zoe Murphy, and guests; “Breathe Again” by Toni Braxton, performed by Zabriel Rivers; “The Police State” by Joseph Borsellino; “Keep Marching” by Anthony Greene.
All events are organized by the BSU Board, Zoe Cagan (chair), Lemuel Marc (marketing and media chair), Nnamdi Odita-Honnah (community events chair), Naledi Masilo (board partner), and David Norville (board partner), under the guidance of faculty advisors Nedelka Prescod and Jason Moran, and staff advisors Claudia Robaina Winston and Annie Phillips.
“This was a year of mourning and suffering,” says Cagan, “and our Black communities have taken heavy losses. Continuation of a Dream: Requiem reflects on the pain Black people have endured while also giving power to our songs, our stories, and our lives. This month, we dedicate our programming to those who have walked before us. We dedicate our songs to them, and we continue on the path towards realizing a better today and a better tomorrow.”
Other events include:
∙ Thursday, February 11, 7 p.m. EST, livestream concert with current NEC student Lemuel Marc and guests featuring “Stolen Moments” by Oliver Nelson and “JuJu” by Wayne Shorter.
∙ Thursday, February 18, 7 p.m. EST, livestream concert by Trio Gaia featuring Andrew Barnwell, Grant Houston, Yi-Mei Templeman performing “Five Negro Melodies for Piano Trio.” Geneva Lewis, Maria Ioudenitch, Zhanbo Zheng, and Gabriel Martins will perform Eleanor Alberga’s “String Quartet No. 2.”
∙ Sunday, February 28, Live Stream The Connection: Chains & Change
∙ Thursday, March 11, Live Stream The Connection: Chains & Change
∙ Friday, February 19, “Black is Canon,” countdown to Coretta Scott King tribute 10-minute Instagram event “Stay on It,” Julius Eastman
∙ Saturday, February 20, “Black is Canon,” countdown to Coretta Scott King tribute 10-minute Instagram event “Dismal Swamp,” William Grant Still
∙ Sunday, February 21, “Black is Canon,” countdown to Coretta Scott King tribute 10-minute Instagram event “Symphony No. 1,” Florence Price
∙ Monday, February 22, “Black is Canon,” countdown to Coretta Scott King tribute 10-minute Instagram event, “Come Sunday,” Omar Thomas
∙ Tuesday, February 23, “Black is Canon,” countdown to Coretta Scott King tribute 10-minute Instagram event, “Portrait of Josephine,” Valerie Coleman
∙ Wednesday, February 24, “Black is Canon,” countdown to Coretta Scott King tribute 10-minute Instagram event, “Black, Brown and Beige,” Duke Ellington
Students performing at last year's BSU events
New England Conservatory’s Black Student Union is committed to the fortification and celebration of Black art and culture in the NEC community, the advocation for equal representation and inclusion of all students at NEC. The purpose of the New England Conservatory Black Student Union is to provide an open forum for Black and non-Black students who want to be more involved in the discussion about the Black experience, to create a safe space in order to unify and educate Black students and the greater NEC community about the Black history and culture. Through discussion, performances, and outreach, the BSO finds new ways to implement positive change in the community.