Project Unity Concert Honors Victims of Racial Violence

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Project Unity, to honor victims of racial violence, brings together Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Dallas Black Dance Theatre for a special concert and performance Nov. 11. The event honors those who lost their lives to racial violence and injustice in the U.S. The Unity Concert will stream live from the Meyerson Symphony Center a 7:30 p.m. In-person concert tickets are $50, and tickets for the live-streaming concert are $25. Project Unity concert tickets are available for purchase at mydso.com.

Project Unity honors victims
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Quinn Mason
Dallas Symphony Orchestra

The world premiere of Quinn Mason’s “Reflection on a Memorial,” is a highlight of the event. The award-winning 24-year-old African American composer is a Dallas native who excelled in music studies at TCU and SMU.

Project Unity was founded by Pastor Richie Butler of St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church. The project implements community-building programs to help heal race relationships between law enforcement and Dallas citizens, as well as other community programs.

“The recent events have left us hurting as a community with deep wounds that have been re-opened,” said Pastor Richie Butler. “It is in these times that we look to each other to make real change that is more than words on a page. Project Unity’s mission is to bring the community together and to listen to everyone. With the Dallas Symphony and Dallas Black Dance Theatre, we will gather to do just that.”

A male trio from Dallas Black Dance Theatre performs Evidence of Souls Not Seen.” An ensemble of DBDT dancers will also perform an excerpt from Etudes and Elegy. Both ballets express mourning the deaths of those held close to our hearts. The DSO will accompany both works with music by Elgar, Mahler and Chopin.

Concert Unites Arts Groups

“After the nation witnessed the horrific death of George Floyd beneath the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, numerous corporations and organizations came out with written statements about Black Lives Matter. Dallas Black Dance Theatre and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra decided to pool our creative talents to unite the Dallas community in a concert that pays tribute to the senseless loss of Black lives to racial violence and injustice,” said Zenetta S. Drew, Executive Director of Dallas Black Dance Theatre.

The DSO will perform works by Black composers Adolphus Hailstork, Florence Price, and William Grant Still. Conductor Lawrence Loh will lead the DSO with soloists Michelle Bradley, soprano, and Reginald Smith, Jr., baritone. Both singers have appeared in performances at The Metropolitan Opera in recent seasons. They will perform a selection of vocal works to include spiritual and gospel arrangements.

Project Unity concert honors victims
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Dallas Symphony Orchestra

“The events of recent months have been devastating and painful. We have reflected on how we as an organization can respond, and, with the magnitude of the crisis, we have more questions than answers,” said Kim Noltemy, Ross Perot President & CEO of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. “This concert will use music to unite and heal and to pay tribute to those who lost their lives and deserve to be honored on a national level.”

Dallas City Councilperson Tennell Atkins; Richie Butler, Founder of Project Unity; Zenetta Drew, Executive Director of DBDT; and Kim Noltemy, President & CEO of DSO will speak at the event. Members of the DSO’s Young Strings program, a 28-year old education initiative designed to increase diversity in America’s orchestras, will also perform.

Project Unity Concert Details

The in-person concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 11 at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora Street in Dallas. In-person concert tickets are $50 and live stream tickets are $25. For more information, visit DBDT.com or mydso.com.

Dallas Black Dance Theatre is an internationally recognized professional dance company that engages the cross-cultural community through contemporary modern dance presented from the African American experience. The National Endowment for the Arts designated the 44-year-old company as an American Masterpiece Touring Artist in 2008. The company also received the Texas Medal of Arts Award for Arts Education in 2017.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra, under the leadership of Music Director Fabio Luisi, presents the finest in orchestral music. DSO performs at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, regarded as one of the world’s premier concert halls. DSO is the largest performing arts group in the Southwest. They are committed to inspiring the broadest possible audience with distinctive classical programs, inventive pops concerts and innovative multi-media presentations. The orchestra reaches over 243,000 adults and children through performances, educational programs and community outreach initiatives annually.

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