This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
The choir of West Philadelphia High School sang the first public performance of “A Shepherd Among Us” – a new, original piece for choir and jazz band by Emmy-nominated composer Hannibal Lokumbe (front), at the High School of the Future Nov. 14. Coached by vocal music teacher Cynthia Weaver, the choir spent the fall semester learning the complex music. Lokumbe rehearsed the students, emphasizing that the power of music can change their world.
A celebration of the life of legendary Philadelphia pastor and civil rights leader Father Paul Washington, the choral work was commissioned for the 10th anniversary of Art Sanctuary. A free curriculum about the work is available here.