The Gathering: A Collective Sonic Ring Shout

Apollo Theater

253 W 125th St. | NYC
Tickets available Fall 2021

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 ACO and the Apollo Theater and co-curated with National Black Theatre. 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 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. Directed by National Black Theatre’s Executive Artistic Director, Jonathan McCrory, the program features Carlos Simon’s Amen!, Courtney Bryan’s Sanctum, and the New York premiere of Seven Last Words of the Unarmed by Joel Thompson. These works are in conversation with new commissions from Herb Alpert Award-winner Toshi Reagon, Tony Award-winner Jason Michael Webb, and Lelund Thompson created to honor our present needs for a collective space of remembrance. The performance is anchored by an 80-member orchestra and a 50-voice choir composed of singers, professional and amateur, from multiple African American churches and choral ensembles in New York.


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.

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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