Bayard Rustin portrait graphic design by Annie Ruth
Bayard Rustin (1912-1987) was a leading strategist of the Civil Rights Movement. Rustin organized the 1963 March on Washington and it was Rustin’s understanding and teaching of non-violence and unwavering commitment to non-discrimination that became the framework through which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. lead.
Rustin's life as a Gay, Black activist, a Quaker and a singer, will be told and celebrated through the Ohio premiere of the choral work Bayard Rustin: The Man Behind the Dream by Cincinnati Composer and Conductor Steve Milloy. Guest soloists will be La’Shelle Allen, mezzo soprano and Keith Dean, bass-baritone. Three performances will be conducted by Jeremy Winston (Central State University) and the 4th concert in Cincinnati will be conducted by Chris Miller, Minister of Music at Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church.
Singers from Yellow Springs, Dayton and Greater Cincinnati have been rehearsing all summer and will come together for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
In addition to the performance of the Oratorio, there will be professionally facilitated symposiums, exploring the various aspects of Bayard Rustin’s life and its relevance in today’s world. Symposiums, which will also include the showing of the Documentary on Bayard Rustin: Brother Outsider and talk-back sessions, will be at Sinclair College (Dayton) Wilmington College (Wilmingon), Miami U Regionals (Hamilton) and Xavier University (Cincinnati) during the week of September 3. John D’Emilio, author of the definitive biography of Rustin: Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin will also be speaking and organization of Youth Collaborative Conversation has also begun. We will also welcome guest Lecturer Dr. Jared Leighton, whose dissertation Freedom Indivisible: Gays and Lesbians in the African American Civil Rights Movement has attracted national attention.
Bayard Rustin was a leading strategist of the Civil Rights Movement. Rustin organized the 1963 March on Washington and it was his understanding and teaching of non-violence and unwavering commitment to non-discrimination, which became the framework through which Dr. Martin Luther King lead. Rustin’s life, as a Gay, Black, Activist, Quaker and Singer, will be celebrated and told through the oratorio: “Bayard Rustin: The Man Behind the Dream” by Cincinnati Composer and Conductor Steve Milloy in September 2018.
The diverse participants will become a coalition of voices for change. Through the performances of the oratorio, the teachings of Rustin will have a lasting effect on our community and will be a significant step in bridging cultural divides. The performance of this new work will provide the springboard for conversations, historical perspective and celebration of this pioneering black man in a time when implicit (and explicit) bias still remain and obstructs our acceptance and respect for diversity and inclusion.
In addition to the performances of the oratorio, there will be professionally curated symposiums, showings of the Documentary on Bayard Rustin, lectures by biographer John D’Emilio, and a Youth Collaborative Conversation.
Currently Steve is Artistic Director of the Cincinnati Men’s Chorus and Music Director at St. John’s United Church of Christ in Bellevue, KY. He has also served as the music director of the Martin Luther King Coalition Chorale and artistic director of the Diverse City Youth Chorus. Steve has been commissioned to compose or arrange pieces for dozens of church & community choruses in the US and UK and received a BA in Music from Miami University and a MM in conducting from the University of Cincinnati/College-Conservatory of Music.
The World House Choir in Yellow Springs, founded and conducted by Dr. Catherine Roma, along with singers from across the Greater Cincinnati area will present the Ohio premiere of "Bayard Rustin, The Man Behind the Dream". Performances will be held September 6, 7, 8 and 9 in Yellow Springs, Dayton and Cincinnati, OH. Rehearsals will be held from June-August in Cincinnati. AlivenArts is serving as the production partner. Other collaborators include Sinclair College (Dayton), Xavier University (Cincinnati), Miami University (Oxford) and Antioch College (Yellow Springs) as well as the The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati.