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Presented By: University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA)

U-M Chamber Choir and UMMA present: Considering Matthew Shepard on DPTV channel 56

YouTube / Livestream / Virtual Event

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Con­sid­er­ing Matthew Shep­ard is an evoca­tive and com­pas­sion­ate musi­cal response to the bru­tal mur­der of Matthew Shep­ard in 1998, one of America’s most noto­ri­ous anti-gay hate crimes. Shepard’s tragic death ulti­mately led to the cre­ation of the Matthew Shep­ard Foun­da­tion and pro­vided a cat­a­lyst for leg­is­la­tion that expanded the def­i­n­i­tion of a hate crime to include sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion. In 2009, Con­gress passed the Matthew Shep­ard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Pre­ven­tion Act. Com­poser Craig Hella John­son had a pro­foundly per­sonal reac­tion to both the mur­der and its res­o­nance. The Shep­ard fam­ily and Foun­da­tion engaged with John­son to cre­ate the Grammy-nom­i­nated ora­to­rio, Con­sid­er­ing Matthew Shep­ard, which draws from frag­ments of Shepard’s per­sonal diary. 

In Novem­ber 2021, the U‑M School of Music, The­atre & Dance and UMMA cre­ated filmed a live performance of the U‑M Cham­ber Choir per­form­ing the ora­to­rio under the direc­tion of award win­ning con­duc­tor Eugene Rogers, acclaimed stage direc­tor Matt Kunkel, and Emmy-award win­ning film pro­ducer Bob Berg, with pianist Scott VanOr­num, pro­duc­tion designer Har­ri­son Hof­fert, and nar­rated by Priscilla Lind­say. The live per­for­mance was pre­sented as part of the UMMA exhi­bi­tion Oh honey…A queer read­ing of the col­lec­tion and the 50th anniver­sary of the U‑M Spec­trum Center. 

Tune in to Detroit Public Television channel 56 to see the film of the performance. It will also be available online through 

Lead support for this exhibition is provided by Alan Hergott and Curt Shepard and the University of Michigan Office of the Provost.

Media Sponsor: Between The Lines/Pridesource

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