Charleston Symphony Orchestra Presents Concert for Equality

Kellen Gray

The Charleston Symphony Orchestra (CSO) will present a special program, “Call and Response: A Concert for Equality,” to leverage the power of music and the spoken word to promote unity, love and understanding Friday, June 19 at 7:30pm.

Kellen Gray, assistant conductor of the CSO, has curated and will conduct the program. The event is being presented by the Symphony in partnership with the Gaillard Center, Roper St. Francis Healthcare, the Coastal Community Foundation, and Grammy Award winners Ranky Tanky.

Ranky Tanky. Credit: Peter Frank Edward

“What an orchestra does best is listen, and real listening only happens when we allow the voices of others to briefly be more prominent than our own,” Gray said. “Our community has many voices that deserve the stage and this program addresses that directly, by giving stage to voices muted by inequality, those that empathize and want to help, and those who see how inequality has wounded our community.”

The program will be live streamed on to and performed to an empty hall due to COVID-19. Roper St. Francis Healthcare is providing clinical guidance as well as financial support to ensure the safest environment possible for the CSO to perform and the Gaillard Center is donating its space for the event.

Edward Hart

The evening will feature music of African American and Afro-British composers interspersed with three testimonials. Guest speakers include Grammy Award Winner Charlton Singleton, CSO Composer in Residence and Charleston native Edward Hart, and Coastal Community Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Darrin Goss, Sr. All plan to deliver words of experience, empathy and unity. This performance will include orchestral works by William Grant Still, George Walker, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Adolphus Hailstork.

The program will conclude with a special performance from Charleston’s own Ranky Tanky.

Darrin Goss, Sr.

“The Charleston Symphony is honored to contribute to our community’s pursuit of equality by unleashing the power of music to promote listening, understanding, optimism, hope, empathy, and healing,” said CSO Executive Director Michael Smith.

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