Apollo Music

The Gathering:
A Collective Sonic Ring Shout


First practiced by enslaved Africans in the Caribbean and in the United States, a Shout (or Ring Shout) is an ecstatic, transcendent ritual in which worshipers move in a circle while shuffling, stomping, and clapping to open a space to collectively grieve, awaken joy as a source of liberation, and find love as a form of resistance.

This new evening-length work, co-commissioned by the Apollo, brings the ancestral tradition of the Ring Shout into a contemporary context, taking audiences on a sonic quest rooted in the ritual tradition with a diverse array of contemporary multidisciplinary artists. Anchored by an 80-member orchestra and a 50-voice choir composed of both professional and amateur singers from multiple African American churches and choral ensembles in New York, this not-to-be-missed event features new musical works including New York premieres by Carlos Simon and Joel Thompson paired with new commissions from Toshi Reagon, Jason Michael Webb, and Lelund Thompson created to honor our present need for a collective space of remembrance.

Co-Presented by the American Composers Orchestra and the Apollo Theater

Co-Curated with National Black Theatre

In Partnership with Gateways Music Festival and Harlem Chamber Players

Creative Concept and Direction by Jonathan McCrory

The Gathering: A Collective Sonic Ring Shout is generously supported by Art for Justice and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, with additional funding from JPMorgan Chase.

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This event is included in our Half Off for Harlem promotion. Harlem residents, employees, business owners, and students can save 50% on tickets to select performances throughout the season.
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Joel Thompson: Seven Last Words of the Unarmed (New York Premiere)

Jason Michael Webb & Lelund Thompson: New Commission (World Premiere)

Courtney Bryan: Sanctum for orchestra and recorded sound

Toshi Reagon: New Commission (World Premiere)

Carlos Simon: Amen! (New York Premiere of orchestral version)

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, Morgan Stanley, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, and The New York Community Trust.

For the safety of our audiences and staff, all ticketholders and attendees of this event must provide proof of vaccination in order to enter the theater. Click here for more information about our COVID safety policies.

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