At 315 S. Broad Street you can hear the hum of the city moving outside the warped, leaded-glass that insists on letting in a breeze. Inside you hear notes of a Philadelphia most don’t experience; the rhythm section of the kitchen, the bassline of Dwayne holding down the fort in the background, and the chorus of the many people that make this place sing.
At BSM, the chorus is one of hope and hospitality, where the decibels of suffering are not turned away from, but tuned into. In an age where sugary pop chords are preferred over rhythm and blues, the people here are doing something different. Here, we’re creating an actual anthem for our town and for our future.
On Wednesday, February 22 Broad Street Ministry had another sound fill its halls thanks to The Philadelphia Orchestra and their Music Alive Composer-in-Residence, Hannibal Lokumbe, a jazz trumpeter and community activist.
Hannibal presented a free concert of two string quartets highlighting the power of the voice, both written and vocal, in resisting oppression and crying for freedom. This special audience was made up of congregants, guests, staff, volunteers, adults, and children; it was the most honest and beautiful slice of Philadelphia.
One concert goer later wrote, “As a fan of Hannibal Lokumbe, thank you for the invitation to be a part of his audience last night. On a purely selfish note, thank you for fulfilling a wish of mine. Over the years as I have sat and experienced Broadway shows and wonderful concerts…I think all people: young, old, rich and poor should have the opportunity to have this experience. It warms the soul and brings beauty to your heart. Last night as I sat in that intimate space with the composer, my daughter, guests, musicians, volunteers, and a CEO it came to me that my wish had been fulfilled.”
The BSM community thanks Hannibal for his creativity and generous spirit, Danielle Rossbach (POA) who turned imagination and vision into a reality, and the artists that shared their gifts so fully with our community.
And Their Voices Cry Freedom
Fannie Lou Hamer, for string quartet and vocalist
A Star for Anne, for string quartet and narrator
Kimberly Fisher Violin
William Polk Violin
Kerri Ryan Viola
John Koen Cello
Tulivu-Donna Cumberbatch Vocalist
*This event was made possible thanks to Carole Haas Gravagno and Music Alive, a national residency program of the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA.
Written by: Jessica Paschke