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Morgan Premieres ‘Mother’s Lament’ to Pay Tribute to Victims of Violence

Production Features Original Works of Music, Poetry and Visual Arts, at Morgan’s
Murphy Fine Arts Center on Sept. 17

In response to the epidemic of violent deaths affecting African Americans nationwide and acknowledging the impact on the families of victims, Morgan State University (MSU) presents “Mother’s Lament,” a musical and multimedia performance tribute event. The new production, which is led by members of MSU’s music faculty, seeks to provide an artistic response to this issue by acknowledging and offering consolation to the grieving families and communities through music, poetry, and the visual arts. “Mother’s Lament,” a component of the University’s Freedom Love and Light Project, premieres on Sept. 17, at the Murphy Fine Arts Center.

“Locally, our city has seen its share of tragic violence affecting minority communities, and this is not an issue that is exclusive to Baltimore,” said David Wilson, president of Morgan State University. As such, it is our responsibility to explore all measures of opportunities to highlight the need for finding solutions to this problem, and performance art can be an effective tool in this regard. It is our hope that this special production leaves a lasting impact on audiences and inspires change.”

Morgan music faculty members Vincent Dion Stringer and James Lee III were inspired to address the pervasiveness of the violence plaguing so many families, including Morgan State University families, and their response was the creation of “Mother’s Lament.” Composed for orchestra, chorus and soloists, this original work pays tribute to the virtual anonymity of the lives taken suddenly and violently.

Two new compositions, “Songs of Love and Loss” and “Mother’s Lament,” serve as the centerpiece of the production. Mid-Atlantic Symphony conductor Julien Benichou will perform the score.  Celebrated bass-baritone, Robert Cantrell will be the featured soloist for “Songs of Love and Loss” and renowned soprano Marquita Lister will be the featured soloist for “Mother’s Lament.” Featured choir performances include the Morgan State University Choir, Boys Choir of Powhatan, Singing Sensations Youth Choir, and an ensemble comprised of choristers from multiple HBCU choirs. The program also features documentary-style insights and reflections from local mothers who have lost children to violence. Plans are in the works to explore taking the production to other cities, after its opening in Baltimore.

Mother’s Lament” premieres on the campus of Morgan State University in the 2000-seat Gilliam Concert Hall of the Murphy Fine Arts Center on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016, at 8 p.m.Tickets range in price from $10 to $25 and are available at the Murphy Fine Arts Center ticket office, located at 2201 Argonne Drive in Baltimore, or through or Ticketmaster Charge-by-Phone (800-551- SEAT). For more information about the Murphy Fine Arts Center or this performance, visit online.

Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified Doctoral Research Institution offering more than 70 academic programs leading to bachelor’s degrees as well as programs at the master’s and doctoral levels. As Maryland’s premier public urban research university, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. More information about the university is available at

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Dale Alston
(443) 885-3168


Larry Jones
(443) 885-3022


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