Georgia Symphony Orchestra conductor and director Timothy Verville will lead the group through a night of works form African-American composers.
Photo: Tom Kells/Courtesy of Georgia Symphony Orchestra
Photo: Tom Kells/Courtesy of Georgia Symphony Orchestra

Cobb orchestra to perform lynching drama, African-American pieces

The Georgia Symphony Orchestra is partnering with groups like the Morehouse and Spelman college glee clubs for a night of performing the works by African-American composers.

The April 20 and 21 concerts will continue the Marietta-based orchestra’s series of playing American music.

Among the pieces set to be performed is William Grant Still’s “ ... And They Lynched Him on a Tree.”

Grant is known as the “Dean of African-American Composers” and was the first African-American composer with a piece performed by a professional orchestra, according to the Library of Congress, which was in 1930.

READMoore’s Ford exclusive: Read the GBI’s 564-page file on the lynching

The piece tells the story of a man who was convicted of a crime and lynched by a mob.

“As the only lynching drama in classical music, and with its segregated chorus parts, it stands alone in addressing and confronting the human impact of violence and social injustice,” according to the GSO.

The composition has been the subject of dissertations and museum exhibitions.

READBethel AME: The historic ‘voice’ of Cobb’s black community

In addition to Still’s piece, there will also be works from Jonathan Bailey Holland, Adolphus Hailstork, Daniel Bernard Roumain and GSO’s N. E. Wheeler. You can read more about the lineup here.

Here are the artists the orchestra will collaborate will for the shows:

• Morehouse Glee Club, founded in 1911

• Spelman Glee Club, founded in 1925

• Uzee Brown/Uzee Brown Society of Choraliers, a chorus in resident put together by the chair of the Morehouse College Department of Music

• Georgia Spiritual Ensemble, a group put together to honor slavery-era spirituals

• Oral Moses, a bass-baritone singer who tours the world

• Theresa Price, a classically trained vocalist with a master’s degree in Music Vocal Performance from Georgia State University

Like Cobb County News Now on Facebook | Follow on Twitter

Both shows start at 8 p.m. Adult tickets range start at $20; student tickets cost $10. They can be purchased by calling 770-429-2390 or online here.

The April 20 show will be at Ray Charles Performing Arts Center, 900 West End Ave. SW; the April 21 show will be at Marietta Performing Arts Center, 1171 Whitlock Ave.

In other news...

The grand opening is set for May 17, 2018. Learn about membership and ticketing at

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.