The Gathering: A Collective Sonic Ring Shout

Apollo Theater

253 W 125th St. | NYC
Tickets start at $20

Event Details

The Gathering: A Collective Sonic Ring Shout on Saturday, May 7, 2022 at the Apollo Theater is a sonic quest rooted in the African and African-American ritual of the Ring Shout, co-presented by American Composers Orchestra and the Apollo Theater, co-curated with National Black Theatre in partnershipwith Gateways Music Festival and Harlem Chamber Players.

The Gathering is a sonic quest rooted in the African and African American ritual of the Ring Shout, directed by National Black Theatre’s Executive Artistic Director Jonathan McCrory and conducted by Chelsea Tipton with choirmaster Gregory Hopkins. A Shout, or Ring Shout, is an ecstatic, transcendent religious ritual, first practiced by enslaved Africans in the Caribbean and in the United States, in which worshipers move in a circle while shuffling, stomping, and clapping.

Woven together through a diverse array of multidisciplinary artists featuring new musical works for orchestra and choir, this evening-length event, anchored by a 70-member orchestra and 60-voice choir composed of singers, professional and amateur, from multiple African American churches and choral ensembles in New York, brings the ancestral tradition of the Ring Shout into a contemporary context, opening a space to collectively grieve, to awaken joy as a source of liberation, and to find love as a form of resistance. The evening includes the New York premiere of Seven Last Words of the Unarmed by Joel Thompson, Carlos Simon’s Amen!, and Courtney Bryan’s Sanctum. These works are in conversation with a new commission by Tony Award-winner Jason Michael Webb, world premieres of new arrangements by Toshi Reagon and Nona Hendryx, plus Say Her Name sung by Abby Dobson. Please join us for an evening created to honor our present needs for a collective space of remembrance.

The Gathering collaboration includes an array of powerful community engagement activities leading up to the performancewith the intent of creating space for hope, healing, and the collective exhale. For a full list of those activities, click here.

All audience members will be required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 with a vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization or the Food and Drug Administration and must maintain appropriate face coverings in accordance with current CDC guidelines. Learn more here.



The Gathering: A Collective Sonic Ring Shout is generously supported by Art for Justice, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Linda and Stuart Nelson, Anonymous, JP Morgan Chase, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, and The New York Community Trust.

Steinway is the official piano sponsor of The Gathering.

Our Mission & Vision

American Composers Orchestra (ACO) is dedicated to the creation, celebration, performance, and promotion of orchestral music by American composers. With commitment to diversity, disruption and discovery, ACO produces concerts, pre-college and college education programs, and emerging composer professional development to foster a community of creators, audience, performers, collaborators, and funders.

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