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Fort Worth Opera Chorus

HIS LIGHT STILL SHINES

September 15, 2020

This month, FWO will present the digital debut of the Fort Worth Opera Chorus, with a stunning performance of 20th-century choral icon Moses Hogan’s His Light Still Shines. Commissioned by the Choral Arts Society of Washington in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Moses Hogan’s stirring work premiered in 2002 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In the wake of the horrific deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others, coupled with fierce discussions on racial injustice, police brutality, and the ever-expanding wave of Black Lives Matter protests, this moving, fifteen-minute choral medley is now more resonant than ever before.

 

Under the baton of FWO’s brilliant Chorus Master Alfrelynn Roberts, thirty-nine singers and eight speakers will bring Hogan’s vision to life, as three spirituals (“Done Made My Vow," “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” and “Hold Out Your Light”) are interwoven with his original music (“His Light Still Shines,” “A Song of Reflection”), and inspiring spoken word passages. Fort Worth Opera is taking this moment to raise our collective voices to demand accountability, transparency, equality, and inclusion. “His Light Still Shines” is just the beginning. We will continue to dedicate our creative resources to doing what the arts do best – break down barriers, foster open dialogue, and celebrate our shared humanity.

MOSES HOGAN BIO

Moses George Hogan was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on March 13, 1957, and manifested his musical talent at a young age. As a boy, he anticipated the sound of church bells and guided his uncle Edwin Hogan’s choir by waving his hands as they sang. He was a graduate of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio and he also studied at New York’s Juilliard School of Music and Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Throughout his life, he created a number of new original arrangements of classic spirituals, formed several celebrated choirs such as the Moses Hogan Singers and the Moses Hogan Chorale, and served as editor of the Oxford Book of Spirituals. 

Hogan is still considered the world’s greatest arranger of spiritual music, and he wrote over 70 unique and influential choral pieces until his death in 2003 at the age of 45. His contemporary settings of spirituals, original compositions, and other works have been admired by audiences and commended by critics worldwide. Today, his arrangements are still being used as the foundation for high school, college and university choirs across the United States.

ALFRELYNN J. ROBERTS BIO

ALFRELYNN J. ROBERTS

Music Director

Alfrelynn is a versatile performer, choral director, and vocal coach whose work includes stage, television and film. Since 2019, she has been the Chorus Master for Fort Worth Opera and concluded her first season to rave reviews for the choruses in Hansel & Gretel, the Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess, and the world premiere of Rachel Peters’ Companionship. She has served as the Artistic Director for the South Dallas Concert Choir for the last four seasons and conducted the choir for AT&T Performing Arts' production of the Underground Railroad featuring Kathleen Battle. Ms. Roberts is also the vocal and choral coach for five high schools in Dallas ISD. 

Alfrelynn has performed for Opera Grand Rapids, Michigan Opera Theater, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, as well as Prather Entertainment Group, What a Do, Farmer's Alley and Kalamazoo Civic Theaters. She was the featured soloist at the first inauguration of President Bill Clinton and a commencement address featuring President Barack Obama.

"Singing with Moses Hogan was truly a highlight of my career. When I first performed His Light Still Shines with the Moses Hogan Singers, I was gripped by a text that challenged the decency of a just America…concepts poignant then and definitely now. Moses reminded us about the tenets of a decent society through his glorious work. In our new digital world, the Fort Worth Opera Chorus ably lends their talent to this amazing project…‘singing’ life into this changing world!"

CHARLENE LOTZ

Pianist

Charlene Lotz has been an active performer since her debut solo recital at the Fourth Bela Bartok International Piano Festival in Lima, Peru at the age of 14. She has played both solo recitals and concerto performances in the United States, South America, and Europe, and is highly sought-after as a collaborator. In 2019, Charlene was awarded a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Texas Christian University, studying with John Owings.

NARRATORS

Sheran Goodspeed Keyton

Manager of Education and Community Engagement | FWO

Joe Illick

Artistic Director | FWO

Kenj'a Brown

Chorister | FWO

Jake Rodriguez

Chorister | FWO

James Gooden

Chorister | FWO

Afton Battle

Arts Advocate | FWO

Nelson Claytor

Board Chair | FWO

Alfrelynn J. Roberts

Chorister | FWO

FORT WORTH OPERA CHORUS

Soprano

Rachael Maura Fant

Chrystle Hicks

Tracy Jones

Megan Koch

Kyuyim Lee

Jacquelyn Lengfelder

Adrienne Phipps

Alexandria Sewell

Erica Simmons

Katherine Smith

Nicole Stover

Lauren Urso

Mezzo

Kenj'a Brown

Walteria Caldwell

Xiaohan Chen

Avanti Dey

Amber Howell

Megan Liles

Sarah McDowell

Mudibu Rita Nsumbu

Sheila Randolph

Jillian Rangel

Yonina Robinson

Tenor

Michael Alonzo

Malcolm Beaty

Damond Cobin

Michael Hamilton

Lwazi Hlati

David Mejia

Ndumiso Nyoka

Kyle Spears

Jonathan Walker-VanKuren

Bass/Baritone

John Ban

Dante Davis

James Gooden

Benjamin Howard

Malcolm Payne Jr.

Jake Rodriguez

Tshilidzi Ndou

 

FWO SPOTLIGHT

Videos Coming Soon

OUR MISSION

Our mission at Fort Worth Opera is to educate, entertain, and expand the horizons of current and future audiences and artists through variety and artistic integrity.

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