Diane Retallack, Artistic DirectorBOX OFFICE: 541-682-5000

Black is Beautiful

Eugene Concert Choir & Orchestra
Diane Retallack, Artistic Director & Conductor

EXIGENCE, Eugene Rogers, director


Soprano: Elaine Alvarez

Mezzo: Rehanna Thelwell

Tenor: Demetrious Sampson

Narrator/Bass: Marques Jerrell Ruff

This is a concert of beautiful classical music by Black composers about beautiful Black lives. Guest professional vocal ensemble EXIGENCE, directed by Dr. Eugene Rogers, joins Diane Retallack and the Eugene Concert Choir & Orchestra in an artistic collaboration of deeply powerful music and social justice. These massive forces will perform:

· Joel Thompson’s Seven Last Words of the Unarmed, which quotes the last words of seven African American men tragically killed, and ends with the words of Eric Garner, “I can’t breathe.”

· Scenes from the Life of a Martyr, a brilliant and moving oratorio on the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Undine Smith Moore, which was performed in Carnegie Hall in 1982 but has rarely been heard since, as is historically typical of the works of Black female composers.

· “Glory,” Academy award-winning song from the film Selma

Acclaimed soloists of the highest professional caliber will relate the story of Martin Luther King on this 60-year anniversary of his “I Have a Dream” speech.

EXIGENCE is a professional ensemble of the Sphinx Organization, whose mission is “Transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts.”

For more information about EXIGENCE and the Sphinx Organization:



For more information about Joel Thompson’s
Seven Last Words of the Unarmed:


The Caged Bird Sings for Freedom:

Words by Maya Angelou, music by Joel Thompson
Performed by EXIGENCE conducted by Eugene Rogers

Individual Tickets

Adult tickets by section, A- $52, B- $43, C- $34, D- $25
Youth and Student $10
(Additional fees may apply)

For information regarding ticket purchases and Season Subscriptions, please contact the Hult Center Box Office at (541) 682-5000

All other inquiries, please call the Eugene Concert Choir office at (541) 687-6865

Sponsored by

The Hult Endowmen Logo
National Endowment for the Arts

Date, Time & Location

Sunday, May 7, 2023
2:30 pm

Silva Concert Hall
Hult Center

More from the 2022–2023 Season

Discounts for Youth & Seniors

Eugene Concert Choir is pleased to provide both youth and senior discounts to encourage attendance by all members of our community!