Premiered Friday, June 18, 2021, 7 PM
Online via YouTube
Please click on the link to experience RETRO-Alpha. You will hear Gloria, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei from Glenn Burleigh’s inspirational Alpha Mass “A Kingdom Celebration”! The video features 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, CAS Accompanist Randy Fischer and UW Parkside Professor James Kinchen, colleagues and friends of Burleigh, have added their comments and reminiscenses. The presentation is offered free of charge, but we would greatly appreciate your donations.
For the best viewing experience, we recommend using high quality speakers or headphones, and watching on a smart TV, with a streaming app, or on a computer.
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. Juneteenth has had rising and falling participation throughout the years. Finally, in 1980, Juneteenth was recognized as an official state holiday in Texas and in 2021 as a national holiday. Increasing numbers of communities create special Juneteenth activities in order to create new bonds of friendship.