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.

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Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
Thursday 10/02
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue 10/02/2014
$36.50, 46.50, 55.50
SHOW 8:00pm
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Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews has a given talent, natural charisma, and a relentless drive to bridge music's past and future. On a worldwide tour that's taking fans by storm, Trombone Shorty and his ensemble, Orleans Avenue, explore funk, rock, jazz, and hip-hop with a style all their own and are some of the most exciting, high-energy artists touring today.

Cirque de la Symphonie
Sunday 10/05
Cirque de la Symphonie 10/05/2014
$10.00, 25.00, 35.00, 45.00, 60.00
SHOW 3:00pm
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Cirque de la Symphonie
Sun, Oct 5, 2014 : 3 pm
Wright Center
An exciting new production designed to bring the magic of cirque to musical halls. An elegant adaptation of some of the most amazing cirque performances witnessed anywhere, showcasing many of the best artists in the world, with the skilled musicians of the ASO.

Magic City Riders Read
Thursday 10/09
Magic City Riders Read 10/09/2014
$0.00
SHOW 7:00pm
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A reading and book signing event featuring Carla Jean Whitley, author of "Muscle Shoals Sound Studio: How the Swampers Changed American Music."

Dvorak Symphony No. 8
Friday 10/10
Dvorak Symphony No. 8 10/10/2014
$24.00, 34.00, 49.00, 69.00
SHOW 8:00pm
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Dvorak Symphony No. 8
Fri & Sat, Oct 10 & 11, 2014 : 8 pm
Andreas Delfs, conductor
Elissa Koljonen, violin
MENDELSSOHN: Hebrides Overture
WALTON: Violin Concerto
DVORAK: Symphony No. 8
The irresistible Eighth is rich in folk tunes and dance rhythms – inspired by music of Dvořák’s Bohemian countrymen and of the earth beneath their feet.

Dvorak Symphony No. 8
Saturday 10/11
Dvorak Symphony No. 8 10/11/2014
$24.00, 34.00, 49.00, 69.00
SHOW 8:00pm
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Dvorak Symphony No. 8
Fri & Sat, Oct 10 & 11, 2014 : 8 pm
Andreas Delfs, conductor
Elissa Koljonen, violin
MENDELSSOHN: Hebrides Overture
WALTON: Violin Concerto
DVORAK: Symphony No. 8
The irresistible Eighth is rich in folk tunes and dance rhythms – inspired by music of Dvořák’s Bohemian countrymen and of the earth beneath their feet.

UAB Piano Series featuring Eric Lu
Sunday 10/12
UAB Piano Series featuring Eric Lu 10/12/2014
$5.00, 15.00
SHOW 4:00pm
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UAB Piano Series concert featuring 17-year-old international competition winner Eric Lu. 4:00 p.m., Alys Stephens Center, Reynolds-Kirschbaum Recital Hall. $15 General Admission and $5 for UAB Students.

Russian Passion: An Evening of Tchaikovsky
Tuesday 10/14
Russian Passion: An Evening of Tchaikovsky 10/14/2014
$12.00, 24.50, 27.20, 32.00
SHOW 7:30pm
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Russian Passion: An Evening of Tchaikovsky
Tue, Oct 14, 2014 : 7:30 pm
Samford University Brock Hall
Melodie for violin and piano
Nocturne for cello and piano
Piano Trio in A minor
Sponsored by Joe & Lavonne Sanders

Clybourne Park
Wednesday 10/15
Clybourne Park 10/15/2014
$12.00, 15.00
SHOW 7:30pm
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"Clybourne Park (2010) is a play by Bruce Norris written in response to Lorraine Hansberry's play A Raisin in the Sun (1959). It portrays fictional events set before and after the Hansberry play, and is loosely based on historical events that took place in the city of Chicago...
"As described by the Washington Post, the play 'applies a modern twist to the issues of race and housing and aspirations for a better life.' The play was awarded the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play."

Mary Mary
Thursday 10/16
Mary Mary 10/16/2014
$49.50, 59.50, 68.50
SHOW 7:00pm
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Fearless. That one word eloquently captures the creative spirit of the groundbreaking duo Mary Mary. Ever since siblings Erica and Tina Campbell broke through in 2000 with the pioneering crossover hit "Shackles (Praise You)," the chart-topping sister act has never wavered from defying convention to fulfill its mission: sending uplifting messages through music and words that are relatable to everyone.

Clybourne Park
Thursday 10/16
Clybourne Park 10/16/2014
$12.00, 15.00
SHOW 7:30pm
Get Tickets

"Clybourne Park (2010) is a play by Bruce Norris written in response to Lorraine Hansberry's play A Raisin in the Sun (1959). It portrays fictional events set before and after the Hansberry play, and is loosely based on historical events that took place in the city of Chicago...
"As described by the Washington Post, the play 'applies a modern twist to the issues of race and housing and aspirations for a better life.' The play was awarded the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play."

Clybourne Park
Friday 10/17
Clybourne Park 10/17/2014
$12.00, 15.00
SHOW 7:30pm
Get Tickets

"Clybourne Park (2010) is a play by Bruce Norris written in response to Lorraine Hansberry's play A Raisin in the Sun (1959). It portrays fictional events set before and after the Hansberry play, and is loosely based on historical events that took place in the city of Chicago...
"As described by the Washington Post, the play 'applies a modern twist to the issues of race and housing and aspirations for a better life.' The play was awarded the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play."

Act Of Congress
Friday 10/17
Act Of Congress 10/17/2014
$25.00, 35.00, 45.00
SHOW 8:00pm
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Act of Congress
Fri, Oct 17, 2014 : 8 pm
Alabama Theatre
With a timeless blend of tight harmonies, vintage instrumentation, and deep musical roots, Act of Congress, consistently voted one of the “must see live acts of Alabama,” returns to play with the ASO.

Clybourne Park
Saturday 10/18
Clybourne Park 10/18/2014
$12.00, 15.00
SHOW 7:30pm
Get Tickets

"Clybourne Park (2010) is a play by Bruce Norris written in response to Lorraine Hansberry's play A Raisin in the Sun (1959). It portrays fictional events set before and after the Hansberry play, and is loosely based on historical events that took place in the city of Chicago...
"As described by the Washington Post, the play 'applies a modern twist to the issues of race and housing and aspirations for a better life.' The play was awarded the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play."

Clybourne Park
Sunday 10/19
Clybourne Park 10/19/2014
$12.00, 15.00
SHOW 2:00pm
Get Tickets

"Clybourne Park (2010) is a play by Bruce Norris written in response to Lorraine Hansberry's play A Raisin in the Sun (1959). It portrays fictional events set before and after the Hansberry play, and is loosely based on historical events that took place in the city of Chicago...
"As described by the Washington Post, the play 'applies a modern twist to the issues of race and housing and aspirations for a better life.' The play was awarded the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play."

Gay Marriage: A Debate w/ Sherif Girgis & Will Saletan
Thursday 10/23
Gay Marriage: A Debate w/ Sherif Girgis & Will Saletan 10/23/2014
$10.00, 15.00, 25.00
SHOW 7:00pm
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Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge
Thursday 10/23
Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge 10/23/2014
$11.00, 20.00, 28.40, 30.18, 37.50
SHOW 7:00pm
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The Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge duo is a collaborative effort founded in the roots of acoustic music, exploring the worlds of improvisation and composition. With Lage's background in modern jazz and new music, and Eldridge's deep relationship with bluegrass - as well as being a member of the widely acclaimed band Punch Brothers - this duo lives at the nexus of improvisation, spontaneous composition, and virtuosic refinement, all performed on their respective 1939 Martin guitars.

American Voices: Fall Chorus Concert
Friday 10/24
American Voices: Fall Chorus Concert 10/24/2014
$7.00, 12.00
SHOW 7:30pm
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The Alabama Symphony Orchestra Chorus presents it's third annual evening of soaring choral music in beautiful Reid Chapel.

Coffee Concert: Beethoven Symphony No. 3 "Eroica"
Friday 10/31
Coffee Concert: Beethoven Symphony No. 3 "Eroica" 10/31/2014
$19.00, 27.00, 33.00
SHOW 11:00am
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Brown Conducts Beethoven Eroica
Fri, Oct 31, 2014 | 11 a.m.
Justin Brown, conductor
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 3, Eroica

Justin Brown Plays Mozart
Friday 10/31
Justin Brown Plays Mozart 10/31/2014
$24.00, 34.00, 49.00, 69.00
SHOW 8:00pm
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Brown Conducts BEETHOVEN EROICA
Fri, Oct 31 & Sat, Nov 1, 2014 : 8 pm
Justin Brown, conductor and piano
MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 24
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 3, Eroica
Music Director Laureate Justin Brown returns in his only Masterworks appearance of the season! At the keyboard, he leads Mozart’s brooding Concerto No. 24. From the podium, he conducts Beethoven’s revolutionary Eroica, an ASO specialty.

Justin Brown Plays Mozart
Saturday 11/01
Justin Brown Plays Mozart 11/01/2014
$24.00, 34.00, 49.00, 69.00
SHOW 8:00pm
Get Tickets

Brown Conducts BEETHOVEN EROICA
Fri, Oct 31 & Sat, Nov 1, 2014 : 8 pm
Justin Brown, conductor and piano
MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 24
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 3, Eroica
Music Director Laureate Justin Brown returns in his only Masterworks appearance of the season! At the keyboard, he leads Mozart’s brooding Concerto No. 24. From the podium, he conducts Beethoven’s revolutionary Eroica, an ASO specialty.

Women of War
Wednesday 11/12
Women of War 11/12/2014
$6.00, 8.00, 10.00, 15.00
SHOW 7:30pm
Get Tickets

This original work explores the complexities of the human impulse to engage in warfare and the determination and strength needed to recover. Through music, dance and text, this compelling piece presents the perspectives of both victor and victim as they examine the causes and effects of war. touching on such subjects as post-traumatic stress, loss of homeland, survival and defeat, Women of War examines the male and female experience.

The Assad Brothers
Thursday 11/13
The Assad Brothers 11/13/2014
$49.50
SHOW 7:00pm
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Fusing classical, jazz, and Latin stylings, Sergio and Odair Assad have set the benchmark for all other guitarists by creating a new standard of guitar innovation, ingenuity, and expression.

Women of War
Thursday 11/13
Women of War 11/13/2014
$6.00, 8.00, 10.00, 15.00
SHOW 7:30pm
Get Tickets

This original work explores the complexities of the human impulse to engage in warfare and the determination and strength needed to recover. Through music, dance and text, this compelling piece presents the perspectives of both victor and victim as they examine the causes and effects of war. touching on such subjects as post-traumatic stress, loss of homeland, survival and defeat, Women of War examines the male and female experience.

Women of War
Friday 11/14
Women of War 11/14/2014
$6.00, 8.00, 10.00, 15.00
SHOW 7:30pm
Get Tickets

This original work explores the complexities of the human impulse to engage in warfare and the determination and strength needed to recover. Through music, dance and text, this compelling piece presents the perspectives of both victor and victim as they examine the causes and effects of war. touching on such subjects as post-traumatic stress, loss of homeland, survival and defeat, Women of War examines the male and female experience.

Ann Hampton Callaway Sings Streisand
Friday 11/14
Ann Hampton Callaway Sings Streisand 11/14/2014
$27.00, 39.50, 57.00, 69.00
SHOW 8:00pm
Get Tickets

Ann Hampton Callaway Sings Streisand
Fri, Nov 14, 2014 : 8 pm
Samford University’s Wright Center
Platinum award-winning singer-songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway celebrates the iconic music of one of America’s most powerful and enduring musical artists, singing timeless classics from five decades of Barbra Streisand’s multi-faceted career.

Women of War
Saturday 11/15
Women of War 11/15/2014
$6.00, 8.00, 10.00, 15.00
SHOW 7:30pm
Get Tickets

This original work explores the complexities of the human impulse to engage in warfare and the determination and strength needed to recover. Through music, dance and text, this compelling piece presents the perspectives of both victor and victim as they examine the causes and effects of war. touching on such subjects as post-traumatic stress, loss of homeland, survival and defeat, Women of War examines the male and female experience.

UAB Gospel Choir 19th Anniversary Fall Concert
Monday 11/17
UAB Gospel Choir 19th Anniversary Fall Concert 11/17/2014
$6.00, 7.00
SHOW 7:30pm
Get Tickets

UAB Gospel Choir directed by Kevin P. Turner: 19th Anniversary Fall Concert. 7:00 p.m., Alys Stephens Center, Jemison Concert Hall. Tickets are $7 general admission; $6 for UAB students, faculty and staff; and $6 each for groups of 20 or more (advance purchase required).

Women of War
Wednesday 11/19
Women of War 11/19/2014
$6.00, 8.00, 10.00, 15.00
SHOW 7:30pm
Get Tickets

This original work explores the complexities of the human impulse to engage in warfare and the determination and strength needed to recover. Through music, dance and text, this compelling piece presents the perspectives of both victor and victim as they examine the causes and effects of war. touching on such subjects as post-traumatic stress, loss of homeland, survival and defeat, Women of War examines the male and female experience.

UAB Opera presents The Elixir of Love
Thursday 11/20
UAB Opera presents The Elixir of Love 11/20/2014
$10.00, 15.00, 20.00
SHOW 7:30pm
Get Tickets

UAB Opera presents The Elixir of Love by Donizetti (sung in English), directed by Kristine Hurst-Wajszczuk, and conducted by J. Paul Dease. 7:30 p.m., Alys Stephens Center, Sirote Theatre. Tickets are $10, $15 and $20, with $5 tickets available for any college student with an ID or anyone under 18. $10 each for groups of 8 or more (advance purchase required).

Women of War
Thursday 11/20
Women of War 11/20/2014
$6.00, 8.00, 10.00, 15.00
SHOW 7:30pm
Get Tickets

This original work explores the complexities of the human impulse to engage in warfare and the determination and strength needed to recover. Through music, dance and text, this compelling piece presents the perspectives of both victor and victim as they examine the causes and effects of war. touching on such subjects as post-traumatic stress, loss of homeland, survival and defeat, Women of War examines the male and female experience.

Coffee Concert: Schumann Symphony No.3 "Rhenish"
Friday 11/21
Coffee Concert: Schumann Symphony No.3 "Rhenish" 11/21/2014
$19.00, 27.00, 33.00
SHOW 11:00am
Get Tickets

Schumann Rhenish
Fri, Nov 21, 2014 | 11 a.m.
Maximiano Valdés, conductor
GINASTERA: Pampeana No. 3
SCHUMANN: Symphony No. 3, Rhenish

Women of War
Friday 11/21
Women of War 11/21/2014
$6.00, 8.00, 10.00, 15.00
SHOW 7:30pm
Get Tickets

This original work explores the complexities of the human impulse to engage in warfare and the determination and strength needed to recover. Through music, dance and text, this compelling piece presents the perspectives of both victor and victim as they examine the causes and effects of war. touching on such subjects as post-traumatic stress, loss of homeland, survival and defeat, Women of War examines the male and female experience.

UAB Opera presents The Elixir of Love
Friday 11/21
UAB Opera presents The Elixir of Love 11/21/2014
$10.00, 15.00, 20.00
SHOW 7:30pm
Get Tickets

UAB Opera presents The Elixir of Love by Donizetti (sung in English), directed by Kristine Hurst-Wajszczuk, and conducted by J. Paul Dease. 7:30 p.m., Alys Stephens Center, Sirote Theatre. Tickets are $10, $15 and $20, with $5 tickets available for any college student with an ID or anyone under 18. $10 each for groups of 8 or more (advance purchase required).

Barber Cello Concerto
Friday 11/21
Barber Cello Concerto 11/21/2014
$24.00, 34.00, 49.00, 69.00
SHOW 8:00pm
Get Tickets

Barber Cello Concerto
Fri & Sat, Nov 21 & 22, 2014: 8 pm
Maximiano Valdés, conductor
Jay Campbell, cello
GINASTERA: Pampeana No. 3
BARBER Cello Concerto
SCHUMANN: Symphony No. 3, Rhenish
Barber’s natural melodic gifts are evident in his soaring Cello Concerto. The deeply spiritual Rhenish Symphony was Schumann’s awestruck reaction to seeing the Cologne Cathedral in the bright morning sun, as well as an homage to his hero, Bach.

Women of War
Saturday 11/22
Women of War 11/22/2014
$6.00, 8.00, 10.00, 15.00
SHOW 2:00pm
Get Tickets

This original work explores the complexities of the human impulse to engage in warfare and the determination and strength needed to recover. Through music, dance and text, this compelling piece presents the perspectives of both victor and victim as they examine the causes and effects of war. touching on such subjects as post-traumatic stress, loss of homeland, survival and defeat, Women of War examines the male and female experience.

Saturday 11/22
ASYO Fall Concert 11/22/2014
$7.00, 10.00, 15.00
SHOW 3:00pm
Get Tickets
Barber Cello Concerto
Saturday 11/22
Barber Cello Concerto 11/22/2014
$24.00, 34.00, 49.00, 69.00
SHOW 8:00pm
Get Tickets

Barber Cello Concerto
Fri & Sat, Nov 21 & 22, 2014: 8 pm
Maximiano Valdés, conductor
Jay Campbell, cello
GINASTERA: Pampeana No. 3
BARBER Cello Concerto
SCHUMANN: Symphony No. 3, Rhenish
Barber’s natural melodic gifts are evident in his soaring Cello Concerto. The deeply spiritual Rhenish Symphony was Schumann’s awestruck reaction to seeing the Cologne Cathedral in the bright morning sun, as well as an homage to his hero, Bach.