NOTEWORTHY | OCTOBER 2018
A Portrait of Our Times
Considering Matthew Shepard

Twenty years have passed since a young gay man was brutally beaten and left to die in a Wyoming field—yet the message of “Considering Matthew Shepard,” an oratorio of hope overcoming hate, is as powerful as ever.

This summer, Conspirare shared the work, first debuted in Austin, with audiences in Los Angeles, Chicago, and the Midwest. One LA reviewer gushed that: “the stunning chorus from Austin is packed with powerful soloists—and an eight-piece ensemble executing pristine orchestrations.” 

Conspirare made its debut at Ravinia Festival, Chicago’s historic outdoor concert venue, in September. The Chicago Tribune called the piece “a portrait of our times.” The performance ended with members of Chicago’s Windy City Performing Arts rising up from the audience to join the choir, movingly demonstrating the shared experience of the piece. 
Following the performance, attendees participated in a talkback with Dennis Shepard, Matt Shepard’s father, Matthew Shepard Foundation Executive Director Jason Marsden, and Craig Hella Johnson. Longtime donor Lee Manford was able to attend the performance:
"Every time we experience Considering Matthew Shepard it moves us in familiar and unexpected ways. At Ravinia, a stunning venue, it was especially poignant knowing that Dennis Shepard, Matthew's father, was in attendance and seeing the piece for the first time. The talkback was one of the most powerful we've witnessed, a reminder of the various perspectives and experiences of audience members who come in as individuals and leave as community. We enjoyed deepening friendships with members of the Conspirare family and making new friends through the power of this work." Learn where Craig and Conspirare will perform next .
“In some ways, this piece has been an exploration of one primary question,” Craig told an interviewer. “In the midst of considering such confounding dark reality and violence, is Love to be found anywhere?” Audiences in Austin and around the world know the answer is yes, through the power of song.

Watch the trailer of the “Considering Matthew Shepard” special, part of Conspirare’s 25th anniversary celebration. Now airing across the country! Check your local listings.
Dream a World with Us:
Bach Plus

Conspirare’s 25th anniversary opening concert, “Bach Plus,” includes the jubilant motets of J.S Bach, rarely performed together, woven with poetry. The motets represent the pinnacle of baroque musical choral composition. The evening will also include a premiere from American composer Ted Hearne. The New York Times has praised Hearne for his "tough edge and wildness of spirit," and "topical, politically sharp-edged works." Performances in Austin and San Antonio .
Big Sing: A Passionate Outcry from All with Breath

On October 30th, you can lift your voice with Craig and a chorus of hundreds, singing songs of civic engagement, outcry and suffrage, reflective of the present times. The Big Sing offers anyone the chance to be part of the wonder of Conspirare. Craig will lead the Big Sing in vocal warm-ups and songs as familiar as Happy Birthday and well-known folk and pop songs. Conspirare Symphonic Choir members are among the audience to sing along and provide musical encouragement. Lyric sheets are provided, and participation is free. Learn more .
Join the Conspirare Family: Be an Ambassador
Ambassadors are the heartbeat of Conspirare. As an Ambassador, you fulfill a critical behind-the-scenes role at concerts, in our music library, or in our office. 

In return for your valued volunteer time and expertise, Conspirare will provide a seat for you in the audience for any concert that you may be serving. Contact Kathy Leighton to learn how you can become our next Ambassador.
“I value my time as a volunteer,” says Lauren Vick , a devoted Ambassador. “It’s the perfect combination of ‘good vibes’: I get to donate my time and efforts to a wildly deserving cause, stay connected to an organization so dear to my heart, and most importantly I get to be fully immersed in world-class musical experiences!”
Upcoming events in Conspirare’s 25th Anniversary Season

Considering Matthew Shepard
WED, 10.17.18 — P hillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, More Info

Big Sing: Outcry
TUE, 10.30.18—Austin Central Library, Austin, Texas, More Info

Conspirare Christmas from the Singers Perspective, with Laura Mercado-Wright
SUN, 11.4.18 at 12:30 pm —Austin Central Library, Austin, Texas FREE!

Conspirare Youth Choir Allegro Master Class with Shari Wilson
MON, 11.12.18 at 7:30 pm — Tarrytown United Methodist Church FREE!

Bach Plus
FRI, 11.16.18— The Chapel of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, Texas, Tickets
SAT, 11.17.18— St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Austin, Texas, Tickets

Conspirare Christmas
Presented by Victoria Bach Festival, Victoria, Texas, Tickets
FRI, 12.07.18— Saint Luke’s United Methodist Church, Houston, Texas, Tickets
SAT, 12.08.18— The Carillon, Austin, Texas, SOLD OUT 
SUN, 12.09.18— The Carillon, Austin, Texas, SOLD OUT
MON, 12.10.18— The Long Center, Austin, Texas, Tickets
TUE, 12.11.18— The Tobin Center, San Antonio, Texas, Tickets

Conspirare Youth Choirs: Songs of Ice and Fire
FRI, 12.14.18 — St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, Texas, Tickets
SAT, 12.15.18— St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, Texas, Tickets

Hope of Loving
FRI, 01.18.19— St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, Texas, Tickets
SAT, 01.19.19— St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, Texas, Tickets

Hidden Music
FRI, 04.26.19— Hotel Van Zandt, Austin, Texas, Save the Date!


Conspirare's Season Sustaining Underwriter

Thank You to Our Sponsors 

Still Water Foundation

Lynne Dobson and Greg Wooldridge
Fran and Larry Collmann  

Thank You to Our Media Sponsor

Thank You to the Following Public Funding Agencies
www.conspirare.org I 512.474.5664
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