Please join us as the Alliance for New Music-Theater launches a new partnership
and monthly music-theatre series on
Wednesday, Nov 10 at 7:30pm
at St. Thomas’ Parish
1517 18th Street NW, Washington DC
Music by composer Ronald Walton followed by conversation about a new music-theatre work that explores the history of two little known black cemeteries in Georgetown.
As part of a monthly Music-Theatre series in partnership with St. Thomas’ Parish, the Alliance for New Music-Theater is featuring selections from a work in development – Voices of Zion – that digs deeper into the little-known history of two adjacent black cemeteries in Georgetown - Mt Zion and Female Union Band Society. We will be joined by guests Reverend Rachel Cornwell of Dumbarton United Methodist Church and Pastor Selena Johnson of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church.
Alliance for New Music-Theatre has commissioned composer Ronald “Trey” Walton and librettist Jarrod Lee to produce the full work which will be featured in a series of performances premiering as part of DC Emancipation Day on April 16, 2022 and then as an immersive theatre work in May 2022 in Georgetown
Changing the Conversation Through the Arts.
The Event is FREE, but will require Ticket.
Please RSVP HERE to receive ticket
More information on the Black Georgetown Cemeteries Project on our website HERE.
Alliance for New Music-Theatre fosters the collaboration of artists across cultures; nurtures the creation, development, and performance of new works; and engages audiences in the creative process to promote a deeper understanding of the transformative power of music-theatre in its many forms. They create opportunities for new voices to create original works, bringing stories to the stage that matter and music that breaks open hearts. Their vision is forwarded through strategic partnerships with professional companies, educational initiatives, and community organizations.
Alliance for New Music-Theatre joined with the Mt. Zion - Female Union Band Society Historic Memorial Park Foundation to develop an original work of music-theatre, Voices of Zion, bringing to light some of the complex and little known history of Black Georgetown through stories of some of the “residents” of the adjacent cemeteries (Mt Zion and Female Union Band Society). The invitation to partner with Executive Director Lisa Fager provides the Alliance an opportunity to “Dig Deeper” in their commitment to a careful developmental process of original works and the nurturing of community relationships. The Alliance for New Music-Theater is delighted that joining them are Dumbarton and Mt. Zion United Methodist Churches, and together they are committed to “changing the conversation through the arts.”
The process of engaging in the research alone offers our community the opportunity for excavating more of “the whole story” of our city: the particulars of urban slavery; the Methodist Church’s interdict to slavery but with many contradictions taking place within families and the community at large; the crisis of split loyalties to the Union and Confederate causes inside the Old Methodist congregation; the complex relationships of Black and White dwellers who lived, worked, and worshipped together; African-American benevolent organizations and their little known role in DC’s Underground Railroad network; and the significance of local Black community leaders such as Clement Beckett and Charles Turner.
Ronald “Trey” Walton - An exceptional musician, organist, pianist, and conductor, Ronald Walton currently serves as the organist/pianist at Mt Zion United Methodist Church. He also has drawn a following as a composer and shows a maturity well beyond his years in his compositional works. Both accomplishments led him to Alliance for New Music-Theatre, and after initial introductions, he seemed at once the ideal person for the commission of The Black Georgetown Cemeteries Project. He has the discipline, passion, and curiosity to be a true collaborator. Ronald is also part of the Georgetown community, having received his HS diploma from Duke Ellington School of the Arts in 2020 with a GPA of 4.2. He is the youngest African American composer to be published by a major music publisher. He is a proud member of CAAPA (Coalition of African American Performing Artists) and is the Jazz Director of that organization. Ronwaltonmusic-IG