A More Convenient Season: World Premiere

This September, Hope Takes the Stage.  Will You Join Us?

 

A More Convenient Season
World Premiere

featuring the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, four of Birmingham's most talented young soloists, an all-female chorus composed of members of the region's most beloved community choirs including Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Choir, Tuskegee University Choir, Mississippi State University Choir, & many others; an original film from award-winning director David Peterson, and an electronic music component created by innovative artist Philip White

 

Commissioned by architect and philanthropist Tom Blount, produced by the Alys Stephens Center. Sponsored by Betty and John McMahon, Friends of Cornerstone School and UAB Medicine.

On September 21, the ASC presents the largest commissioning project in the Center’s history with the premiere of a new work by composer Yotam Haber, commissioned to commemorate the Civil Rights Movement events of 1963. 

The work, titled "A More Convenient Season," derives its name from the text of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail."

"… who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a ‘more convenient season.’ Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than
absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection."

Like no performance we’ve experienced before, the work can best be described as “soaring.” Every word the chorus sings comes from FBI files and oral histories from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s archives. The accompanying film is created from home movies and news footage of the time. The music, performed by an orchestra and a live electronic artist, is stirring and emotional. Yet all of the work’s voices come together for a message of beauty and hope. The piece exemplifies the power of the arts to tell our stories, connect us, and give us hope for the future.

The chorus sings, “How far is far?” … “How high is high?”

Guggenheim fellow and accomplished composer Yotam Haber found inspiration for those words through repeated visits to Birmingham over the last two years. The culmination of Haber's listening to oral histories, learning from foot soldiers, speaking with historians, and browsing through files and artifacts in the Birmingham Public Library Archives has resulted in this immense work. Choirmaster David Harris comments, “I can’t underscore enough how powerful this music and this project is. I believe it’s one of the most important choral pieces for at least a decade, or more, and that we will hear more about it for years  to come.”

In 2014, the Alys Stephens Center will also premiere this work on the West Coast in a performance featuring the CalArts Orchestra at REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theatre).


ArtPlay Composers Workshop: Monday, Sept. 16, 4pm, Jemison Concert Hall.

ArtPlay Meet the Artist School Show: Thursday, Sept. 19, 10am, Jemison Concert Hall.

 

Birmingham News article about A More Convenient Season

Performances

  • Saturday, September 21, 2013 · 8 PM
    A: $60.50 · B: $49.50 · C: $37.50 · tickets

Venue

  • Jemison Concert Hall

 

ABOUT THE COMPOSER
Yotam Haber was born in Holland and grew up in Israel, Nigeria, and Milwaukee - his music is informed by those places. He received the 2007-2008 Frederic A. Juilliard/Walter Damrosch Rome Prize and a 2005 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. Recent commissions include two works for Pritzker Prize-winning architect Peter Zumthor; and new works for Gabriel Kahane, Alarm Will Sound; 2012 Bang on a Can Summer Festival; the Neuvocalsolisten Stuttgart and ensemble l’arsenale; JACK Quartet, Cantori New York, and the Berlin-based Quartet New Generation. He is currently collaborating with MacArthur Prize Fellow Anna Schuleit on a large-scale project of 104 piano pieces inspired by 104 paintings, drawn from stories by the Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard. Haber is the artistic director of MATA, the non-profit organization founded by Philip Glass, that has, since 1996, been dedicated to commissioning and presenting new works by young composers from around the world. His music is published by RAI Trade.

December 2014
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Christmas at the Alys
Monday 12/01
Christmas at the Alys 12/01/2014
$5.00, 8.00
SHOW 7:00pm
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Christmas at the Alys. 7:00 p.m., Alys Stephens Center, Jemison Concert Hall. $8 general admission and $5 for all students.

Christmas with Michael W. Smith
Friday 12/05
Christmas with Michael W. Smith 12/05/2014
$, 25.00, 35.00, 45.00, 60.00, 75.00
SHOW 8:00pm
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Christmas with Michael W. Smith
Fri, Dec 5, 2014 : 8 pm
Samford University’s Wright Center
Platinum pop and Christian worship artist Michael W. Smith brings his creative passion for music to the ASO, which comes alive with sweeping cinematic statements, rich melodies, an emotional range, along with musical twists.

Holiday Soul: Eric Essix and 5 Men On A Stool
Sunday 12/07
Holiday Soul: Eric Essix and 5 Men On A Stool 12/07/2014
$36.00
SHOW 7:00pm
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The Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center presents , “Holiday Soul” featuring UAB Artist In Residence, Eric Essix, performing with Atlanta super group, 5 Men On A Stool! For the first time ever, Eric performs a soulful collection of “songs of the season” with bandmates Hank Stewart, Antonio Allen, Melvin Miller and Leonard Julien III, as well as favorites from the groups time tested set list. No strangers to the Alys Stephens Center and Birmingham, 5 Men On A Stool shared the stage with Eric in 2013 as part of his “Evolution” concert and together they have played venues throughout the U.S. performing their own unique blend of jazz, gospel, R&B and spoken word.

The Premiere of Season 5 of APT's Downton Abbey
Sunday 12/14
The Premiere of Season 5 of APT's Downton Abbey 12/14/2014
$0.00
SHOW 3:00pm
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You will have an opportunity to see one hour of the season opening episode before it premiers on PBS on January 4, 2015.
Downton Abbey, the international hit series from writer and creator Julian Fellowes, returns with more dark secrets, budding romances, and dramatic turns. As you await the season premiere of Season 5 on MASTERPIECE, see new characters, fan favorites, suitors, and Downton's growing fourth generation: little Sybbie and the heir himself, George!

UAB's Alys Stephens Center & BMR : An Evening with Robert Ellis
Thursday 12/18
UAB's Alys Stephens Center & BMR : An Evening with Robert Ellis 12/18/2014
$16.20, 17.15, 20.00
SHOW 7:00pm
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Robert Ellis is the kind of songwriter who only comes along once in a great while. With his first two albums, a promise was made. With his new record, The Lights from the Chemical Plant, that promise has been delivered and fully realized. The music, like the artist, refuses to accept the confines of a box, and burns white-hot from the inside out. But what seems even more striking about this record, this musician, even at a first glance, is that feeling of unyielding authenticity.

http://www.groundcontroltouring.com/artists/robert-ellis

A Dickens Vest Pocket Christmas Carol
Friday 12/19
A Dickens Vest Pocket Christmas Carol 12/19/2014
$11.00
SHOW 7:00pm
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Join the Cratchets, Tiny Tim, all the Spirits, and of course Ebenezer Scrooge in his journey toward redemption and enlightenment. This delightful play is adapted and directed by beloved ASC staff member and ArtPlay teaching artist Jerry Sims, whose popular original productions include Yuletide in Dogtown, Alice's EVEN BIGGER Tea Party, and Down the Yellow Brick Road. Come early to enjoy holiday treats and more!

A Dickens Vest Pocket Christmas Carol
Saturday 12/20
A Dickens Vest Pocket Christmas Carol 12/20/2014
$11.00
SHOW 11:00am
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Join the Cratchets, Tiny Tim, all the Spirits, and of course Ebenezer Scrooge in his journey toward redemption and enlightenment. This delightful play is adapted and directed by beloved ASC staff member and ArtPlay teaching artist Jerry Sims, whose popular original productions include Yuletide in Dogtown, Alice's EVEN BIGGER Tea Party, and Down the Yellow Brick Road. Come early to enjoy holiday treats and more!

Handel's Messiah
Saturday 12/20
Handel's Messiah 12/20/2014
$39.00, 49.00, 64.00, 79.00
SHOW 7:30pm
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Handel’s Messiah
Sat, Dec 20, 2014 : 7:30 pm
Jemison Concert Hall, Alys Stephens Center
Jory Vinikour, conductor
HANDEL: Messiah
Beethoven once called Handel “the greatest composer that ever lived.” Handel’s Messiah has become the world’s the most popular choral work, delighting audiences every holiday season.

New Year's Eve: A Viennese Celebration
Wednesday 12/31
New Year's Eve: A Viennese Celebration 12/31/2014
$34.00, 44.00, 59.00, 74.00
SHOW 6:00pm
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New Year’s Eve: A Viennese Celebration
Wed, Dec 31, 2014 : 6 pm
Alabama Theatre
Christopher Confessore, conductor
Lisa Vroman, vocalist
Ring in 2015 with waltzes, operatic selections, and a glass of bubbly.

Andrew Tyson
Thursday 1/08
Andrew Tyson 01/08/2015
$, 20.00, 30.40, 32.18, 37.50
SHOW 7:00pm
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His debut CD, a recording of the complete Chopin Preludes, was released in October 2014 on the Zig-Zag Territories label. » At the 2012 Leeds International Piano Competition, Tyson won Fifth Prize and the new Terence Judd-Hallé Orchestra Prize, awarded to the pianist chosen by the orchestra and conductor Sir Mark Elder. This prize brought three performances of Rachmaninov’s Concerto No. 2 with the Hallé Orchestra, which were so acclaimed that he was re-engaged to perform with the orchestra last season and this season. » After early studies with Dr. Thomas Otten of the University of North Carolina, Tyson attended the Curtis Institute of Music, where he worked with Claude Frank. He later earned his Master’s degree and Artist Diploma at The Juilliard School with Robert McDonald, where he won the Gina Bachauer Piano Competition and received the Arthur Rubinstein Prize in Piano.

Coffee Concert: Mendelssohn Scottish Symphony
Friday 1/09
Coffee Concert: Mendelssohn Scottish Symphony 01/09/2015
$19.00, 27.00, 33.00
SHOW 11:00am
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Mendelssohn Scottish symphony
Fri, Jan 9, 2015 | 11 a.m.
Mei-Ann Chen, conductor
PRICE: Dances in the Canebrakes
MENDELSSOHN: Symphony
No. 3, Scottish

Ravel Piano Concerto in G
Friday 1/09
Ravel Piano Concerto in G 01/09/2015
$24.00, 34.00, 49.00, 69.00
SHOW 8:00pm
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Ravel Piano Concerto in G
Fri & Sat, Jan 9 & 10, 2015 : 8 pm
Mei-Ann Chen, conductor
Cédric Tiberghien, piano
PRICE: Dances in the Canebrakes
RAVEL: Piano Concerto in G
MENDELSSOHN: Symphony No. 3, Scottish
Drawing from Gershwin’s jazzy popularity and Mozart’s elegance, Ravel’s concerto echoes American jazz and, in a ravishing slow movement, old Viennese lyricism.

Ravel Piano Concerto in G
Saturday 1/10
Ravel Piano Concerto in G 01/10/2015
$24.00, 34.00, 49.00, 69.00
SHOW 8:00pm
Get Tickets

Ravel Piano Concerto in G
Fri & Sat, Jan 9 & 10, 2015 : 8 pm
Mei-Ann Chen, conductor
Cédric Tiberghien, piano
PRICE: Dances in the Canebrakes
RAVEL: Piano Concerto in G
MENDELSSOHN: Symphony No. 3, Scottish
Drawing from Gershwin’s jazzy popularity and Mozart’s elegance, Ravel’s concerto echoes American jazz and, in a ravishing slow movement, old Viennese lyricism.

Reflect & Rejoice: A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Sunday 1/18
Reflect & Rejoice: A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 01/18/2015
$9.00, 14.00, 19.00, 24.00
SHOW 3:00pm
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Reflect and Rejoice: A Tribute to DR. Martin Luther King, JR.
Sun, Jan 18, 2015: 3 pm
Jemison Concert Hall, Alys Stevens Center
The Aeolians Of Oakwood University
The powerful voices of the Aeolians of Oakwood University join the orchestra in our yearly concert, celebrating the legacy and leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement.

20th Century Masters: Copland and Enescu
Tuesday 1/27
20th Century Masters: Copland and Enescu 01/27/2015
$12.00, 24.50, 27.20, 32.00
SHOW 7:30pm
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20th Century Masters: Copland and Enescu
Tue, Jan 27, 2015 : 7:30 pm
Samford University Brock Hall
Featuring Daniel Szasz and his wife, pianist Alina Voicu
COPLAND Nocturne and
Ukulele Serenade for violin and piano
COPLAND Sonata for violin and piano
ENESCU Sonata no. 2 for violin
and piano
ENESCU Romanian Rhapsody No. 1 arr. for violin and piano
Sponsored by Diane and Herb Rossmeisl

Bruch Violin Concerto in G Minor
Friday 1/30
Bruch Violin Concerto in G Minor 01/30/2015
$24.00, 34.00, 49.00, 69.00
SHOW 8:00pm
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Bruch Violin Concerto in G Minor
Fri & Sat, Jan 30 & 31, 2015 : 8 pm
Conductor: Chrisstopher Confessore
Chloë Hanslip, violin
Beethoven: Leonore Overture No. 2 Op. 72a
Bruch: Violin Concerto in G Minor (Chloe Hanslip, violin soloist)
--intermission--
Schubert: Symphony in B minor "Unfinished"