Sing Their Names
Sing Their Names is a piece for 17-part mixed chorus that was commissioned and premiered by The New York Virtuoso Singers with conductor Harold Rosenbaum. The text is a list of the names of 51 people of color killed by police in the U.S. The list is not exhaustive; there are way more.
"Dakota, Tyisha, Kimani, Aiyana, Malissa, Tarika, Amadou
Kimani Gray, Ousmane “Monte” Zongo, Ramarley Graham, James Brissette, Malcolm Ferguson, Rekia Boyd, Tyisha Miller, Timothy Russell, Malissa Williams, Tarika Wilson, Dakota Bright, Manny Loggins, John Crawford, Nicholas Heyward Junior, Kathryn Johnston, Ronald Madison, Oscar Grant, Joel Acevedo, Ruben Garcia Villalpando
Manuel Jamines, Manuel Diaz, Michael Brown, Akai Gurley, Sean Bell, Tamir Rice, Aiyana Stanley Jones, Eric Garner, Ezell Ford, Jaime Gonzalez, Corey Harris, Omar Abrego, Anthony Rosario, Hilton Vega, Darrien Hunt, Roshad McIntosh
Yvette Smith, Anthony Baez, Patrick Dorismond, Amadou Diallo, Timothy Stansbury, Darius Pinex, Richard “Pedie” Perez, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Kendrec McDade, Jordan Baker, Rumain Brisbon, Kajieme Powell, Dante Parker, Tyree Woodson, Victor White"
Most were unarmed. They were killed between 1994 (Anthony Baez, Nicholas Heyward Junior) and 2015 (Ruben Garcia Villalpando, Walter Scott). The youngest was 7 (Aiyana Stanley Jones) and the oldest was 92 (Kathryn Johnston). Most were natural-born U.S. citizens and some were immigrants from places like Guatemala (Manuel Jamines), Burkina Faso (Ousmane “Monte” Zongo), and Guinea (Amadou Diallo). Some were killed in their own homes (Yvette Smith, Kathryn Johnston) and some were young teens or pre-teens shot with real guns for playing with toy guns (Nicholas Heyward Junior, Tamir Rice, Jaime Gonzalez). Most were killed with guns but some were killed with choke holds (Anthony Baez, Eric Garner) or beatings (Omar Abrego). Some were developmentally disabled (Ronald Madison, Ezell Ford). Some were killed because they were suspected of petty crimes like stealing donuts (Kajieme Powell) or non-crimes like carrying a sword (Darrien Hunt). One was shot while unconscious (Tyisha Miller) and one was shot while holding her baby (Tarika Wilson). My piece is a requiem for them. It begins with wild, angry, emotional outbursts and gradually morphs into a stoic but unified sonic wall of solidarity and mourning in the face of systemic injustice.