Arts & Culture

OU professors join Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s ‘For Justice and Peace’ recording

Oglethorpe’s Director of Music Brent Runnels and Affiliate Artist in Voice Wanda Yang-Temko participated in a video recording of “For Justice and Peace,” a new program by award-winning double bass soloist and composer Xavier Foley, that is commentary on social justice issues.

OU Professors Wanda-Yang Temko and Brent Runnels pose on-stage with composer Xavier Foley and Conductor Jerry Hou

OU professors Dr. Wanda Yang-Temko (left) and Dr. Brent Runnels (second from right) pose on-stage with composer Xavier Foley (with bass) and Conductor Jerry Hou (right).

Donning masks and performing in a large concert space, both OU professors lent their vocal talents to this recording for the Grammy Award-winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Virtual Stage, a platform that hosts virtual music content to be enjoyed from home. The performance was conducted by Jerry Hou, the ASO’s new Associate Conductor and Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra Music Director.

“For Justice and Peace”, jointly commissioned by The Sphinx Organization, Carnegie Hall and the New World Symphony, depicts the deep reverberations of slavery throughout American history. Interestingly, banging gavels and shouts can be heard throughout the concerto for violin, double bass and strings. They are symbolic of the long history of slavery—from Jamestown to the modern courtroom. The piece debuted in October 2019, amidst growing national unrest related to racial injustice.

“In the end,” says Foley of his composition, “the music offers light and hope as we all ultimately strive toward peaceful solutions.”

The performance is now available through the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s virtual concert platform: Virtual Stage.

Recording in Symphony Hall at the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta.


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