MCP’s Performance of Let My People Go! a Resounding Success!
On February 15, it seemed like the entire city of Pittsburgh was packed into Ebenezer Baptist Church to be a part of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh (MCP)‘s performance of the Pittsburgh premiere of Donald McCullough’s Let My People Go: A Spiritual Journey Along the Underground Railroad, conducted by Music Director Matthew Mehaffey. The Junior Mendelssohn Choir (JMCP), under the direction of Dr. Caron Daley, opened the show with works by contemporary African American composers. After a short break and some words of unity and hope from Pittsburgh mayor Bill Peduto, the MCP took the stage, along with local stage actors Hope Anthony and Charles E. Timbers, and four soloists, Elisabeth Stevens, Pittsburgh native Demareus Cooper, Forest Hills native Donovan Elliott Smith, and Gregg Baker, to tell the story of the Underground Railroad through the words and music of African American spirituals. The audience provided as much energy as the singers, and everyone was brought to their feet by the last piece, “Go Down Moses,” featuring the JMCP joining the adult choir. One audience member had this to say: “There were several aspects of the concert that really touched my heart…the excellent quality, sincerity, and respect of the music: the choir and soloists, musicians and speakers all seemed truly inspired and devoted to the hallowed history, meaning, beauty and importance of what they were expertly presenting to the audience;…I can tell you that there were many happy tears, smiles, and rejoicing in the audience…. The standing ovations were heartfelt and sincere (quite obviously)…. Friday’s performance was indeed – soulful. Warmest congratulations!”
Read what the critics had to say:
- Critic’s notebook: Let My People Go – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 15 February 2019
- Mendelssohn Choir presents Underground Railroad stories at Ebenezer Baptist in the Hill – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 14 February 2019
- ‘Let My People Go’ brings story of Underground Railroad to Hill District – PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 12 February 2019
- Landmark Concert Revives Spirituals on the Hill – Pittsburgh Magazine, 6 February 2019
- “Let My People Go!” – The Urban Twist, 29 January 2019
- Mendelssohn Choir, Ebenezer Baptist Church team for ‘Let My People Go’ – PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 17 December 2018
Click for more photos of the performance. All photos courtesy of Alisa Garin Photography.