On July 13, 2015, Sandra Bland died while in police custody in Waller County, Texas. On July 13, 2016, on the one-year anniversary of her tragic death, The Dream Unfinished will hold a concert to commemorate her and the large number of Black women impacted by police killings. Whether Black women and girls are killed by police directly; their loved ones are killed by police and they have to figure out how to continue to live on and survive while fighting for justice; or police refuse to intervene or respond when Black women – especially Black trans women – experience violence, these are all ways in which Black women, girls, and femmes are affected by police brutality and killings.
The orchestral and choral concert will feature a world premiere by composer Courtney Bryan, with text by poet Sharan Strange. Grammy-nominated and Grammy-award-winning conductors James Blachly and John McLaughlin Williams will lead the #SingHerName chorus and The Dream Unfinished Orchestra. Soloists include WQXR's Helga Davis, pianist Michelle Cann, and Kelly Hall-Tompkins of "Fiddler on the Roof," who will act as concertmaster for the performance.
In addition to musical selections, Sing Her Name will include appearances by Terrance McKnight (WQXR), Kimberle Crenshaw (African American Policy Forum), Gina Belafonte (Sankofa.org), Farah Griffin (Columbia University), Agunda Okeyo (Sisters of Comedy), Farah Tanis (Black Women’s Blueprint), composer Trevor Weston, and other artists and speakers.