Friday, June 18, 2021, 7 PM
Online via YouTube
Join us for the premiere of RETRO-Alpha. You will hear the Gloria, Sanctus, and Agnus dei from Glenn Burleigh’s inspirational Alpha Mass “A Kingdom Celebration”! This video will present recordings from the CAS 2005 joint performance with the St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church Choir and the Jubilate Singers. Burleigh was the pianist for some of the movements. CAS Artistic Director James Schatzman and UW Parkside Professor James Kinchen, both colleagues and friends of Burleigh, will add newly recorded comments and reminscing. You are also invited to the video-conference “afterglow.” The presentation will be offered free of charge, but we sould greatly appreciate your donations.
Glenn Edward Burleigh (1949-2007) and CAS enjoyed a very special relationship. Their association began in 1990, when Mr. Burleigh came to Wisconsin for the first performance of Alpha Mass with full orchestration. He became friends with CAS Artistic Director James Schatzman. As a result, he made many Southeastern Wisconsin connections. By the time of his untimely, sudden death at the age of 58, Mr. Burleigh had become widely recognized and respected. His upbringing in the black gospel tradition combined with his classical training as a pianist and composer laid the foundation for his distinctive musical voice. His mission was to bring people of different races together through music. His personal faith and caring for others shine through his compositions. (www.okjazz.org/index.cfm?id=105)
The date for this premiere was selected to fall the same weekend as Juneteenth (shortened from June nineteenth). This significant day in African American history marks the effective end of slavery in the United States. Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, It was not until June 19, 1865 that Union soldiers brought word to slaves in Galveston Texas that they had been freed. This holiday was primarily celebrated in the African American Community. It has had rising and falling participation throughout the years. Finally, in 1980, Juneteenth was recognized as an official state holiday in Texas. Increasing numbers of communities create special Juneteenth activities in order to create new bonds of friendship.