Those who go to the concerts or sing in the group know that the Stony Brook University Chorale is as much about music as it is about providing an opportunity for singers to share an experience of learning and enlightenment. Whether singing about the LGBTQ+ community or cultural traditions, experiences and situations around the world, Chorale Director Shoshana Hershkowitz makes sure to include rich, meaningful pieces that speak to the significance of inclusion and hope in every performance.
The fall concert on December 4, 2023 was no exception, spotlighting, among many other themes, the music of Black composers, poets and texts in “The Dream Trilogy.” This selection of songs is set to the poetry of Langston Hughes (1902-1967), widely considered one of the most prolific and powerful African-American writers in 20th century American literature.
“The Dream Trilogy” is composed by Rollo Dilworth, a conductor, educator and composer from Temple University. Hershkowitz explained, “He sets three Langston Hughes poems centered on dreams, which were a central focus of Hughes’ poetry throughout his life.”
As we commemorate Black History Month, Hershkowitz added, “This is a moment to consider the dreams of equality and opportunity Hughes and other Black Americans have sought and still pursue. In our choral program, we’re proud to center diverse voices in our programming, so that our student body sees themselves reflected in the music we study and perform.”
Read more about the SBU Chorale and its messages of diversity and inclusion.
I Dream a World
By Langston Hughes
I dream a world where man
No other man will scorn,
Where love will bless the earth
And peace its paths adorn
I dream a world where all
Will know sweet freedom’s way,
Where greed no longer saps the soul
Nor avarice blights our day.
A world I dream where black or white,
Whatever race you be,
Will share the bounties of the earth
And every man is free,
Where wretchedness will hang its head
And joy, like a pearl,
Attends the needs of all mankind-
Of such I dream, my world!