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Chamber Choir Commemorates Matthew Shepard

The University Chamber Choir presents Considering Matthew Shepherd on April 15, 2023.

The Florida State University Chamber Choir will present a concert featuring Craig Hella Johnson’s masterpiece, Considering Matthew Shepard, on Saturday, April 15 at 7:30pm in Ruby Diamond Concert Hall.

Matthew Shepherd

Considering Matthew Shepard is an emotional journey honoring the life and legacy of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man who was abducted, assaulted, and left for dead outside of Laramie, Wyoming in 1998. Shepard’s death sparked national outrage and brought attention to hate crimes against LGBTQ+ individuals.

The work combines a variety of musical styles, from country and gospel to chant and oratorio, to create a powerful and moving experience for audiences.

“I think this multi-genre approach is intentional,” says FSU Choral Graduate Assistant Corey Sullivan, “many of the movements speak of how Matthew was just like any other child. In one movement, the narrator even wonders what commonalities they share with Matthew’s murderers.”

The texts of the work originate from disparate sources, including court transcripts from the trial of the two men responsible for beating Shepard to death, Shepard’s parents, and from Shepard himself.

Shephard was a student at the University of Wyoming, with a passion for equality and social justice. His love of nature is a recurring theme through the work; his parents write about how he hunted and fished, and Matthew himself stated, “I love Wyoming so very much.”

The FSU Chamber Choir is honored to perform this work and hopes to honor Matthew Shepard’s memory through their performance.

Tickets for the concert are available from the Fine Arts Ticket Office:

Please note: Audiences should be advised that this work contains references to anti-LGBTQ violence, language, assault, abduction, and bullying. Counselors will be available in the lobby for support before, during, and after the performance.

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