performed by Karen Slack, soprano and Scott Gendel, piano:
composer's note: In 2014, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed by a police officer while playing with a toy gun in a park. After a long investigation, his killer was let free with no consequences.
Around the time of the Tamir Rice verdict, Langston Hughes's poem "Kids Who Die" started being passed around online, as a reflection on both Rice's killing and the world we live in. The poem was written in 1938 in response to the racial politics of the time, but feels shockingly, terrifyingly relevant to today's issues. Soprano Karen Slack and I were discussing this poem and its lasting power when she said something along the lines of "if you set it, I'll sing it." As a big fan of Karen's singing, and also as a human being struggling to find some way to react & respond to these killings, I jumped at the chance, and in a few days feverishly wrote this piece. This song is dedicated "to Tamir Rice, and too many others." You can read the poem here: www.blogcitylights.com/2013/07/14/ki…gston-hughes/