The symphony and choir will perform compositions produced in the 1930s such as Vaughan Walliams’ “Dona Nobis Pacem” and William Grant Still’s “Afro-American Symphony.”
“One of them is asking for peace and one of them is asking for kind of equal footing of Black culture,” Cal Poly Symphony Director David Arrivée said.
The composition will celebrate Black culture and the blues that were created in the Harlem Renaissance in the early 20th century. Each movement uses a poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar for an epigraph.
Following an intermission the symphony will perform Ukrainian composer Myroslav Skoryk’s “Melody,” and the choir will perform the Ukrainian National Anthem.
The concert will finish with a combined performance of both the choirs and symphony performing Williams’ “Dona Nobis Pacem.”
“‘Dona Nobis Pacem’ translates to give us peace and the work itself is Walt Whitman poetry that was written out of the time of the Civil War,” Scott Glysson, director of choral activities and vocal studies, said. “It’s all about a war and the need for peace which is super relevant right now.”
The choir will open the concert with Paul Hindemith’s “Six Chansons,” which was also composed in the 1930s.
Following the opening song, the symphony will perform Still’s composition, which was completed in 1930 and was the first symphony to be written by an African-American composer and premiered by a major orchestra.
This year’s program is dedicated to Cal Poly student Zach Blanchard, who was a member of the Cal Poly choir group Polyphonics and passed away in April.
Tickets for the concert will be sold for $15 for balcony seats, while Orchestra and Dress circle seats will cost $20 for the public. Students can purchase balcony, Orchestra or Dress circle seats for $10.