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Considering Matthew Shepard

by | Mar 28, 2023

Considering Matthew Shepard was performed on March 24.


Friday night, March 24, the Davidson College Chorale and Chamber Singers performed the oratorio Considering Matthew Shepard in the main sanctuary at Davidson College Presbyterian Church.

More than 60 vocalists and a chamber orchestra combined efforts in the performance.

The sanctuary was packed with students, family members, and members of the community.

Twenty-five years have passed since Matthew Shepard, a young, gay student at the University of Wyoming was kidnapped, severely beaten, and left to die in a field under a blanket of stars. Five days later, when Matt passed away, the world watched and reacted, passing hate crime legislation at the state and federal level.

The program included a stress warning based on the horrific events of Matthew Shepard’s murder. There was also a list of crisis and emergency resources.

More than 60 vocalists in the combined chorale and choirs were under the direction of Renata Berlin, Director.


Soloists included:

Cattle, Horses, Sky, and Grass

  • Andy Nguyen ’25, Tenor


Ordinary Boy

  • Abby Reardon ’25, Alto
  • Emily McKeithen ’23, Soprano
  • Felix Simmons ’24, Tenor


We Tell Each Other Stories

  • Julia Mahoney ’23, Soprano
  • Caroline Maurano, Soprano


The Fence (Before)

  • Malik Ramadanovic ’25, Bass

Senior Sarah Booker was the soloist for The Fence (That Night).

The Fence (That Night)

  • Sarah Booker ’23, Messo-Soprano


Keep It Away from Me (The Wound of Love)

  • Hannah Kershner ’23, Alto


Fire of the Ancient Heart

  • Joseph Santi-Unger ’23, Bass


The Innocence

  • Emma Bazemore ’25, Alto


The Fence (One Week Later)

  • Mahrle Siddall ’25, Soprano


In Need of Breath

  • Gianna Colombo ’23, Soprano


Deer Song (Mist on the Mountain)

  • Sarah Booker ’23
  • Ally Harvel ‘23
  • Diana Kate Teagarden ‘26


Meet Me Here

  • Flora Konz ’25, Soprano


All of Us

  • Gianna Colombo ‘23
  • Lucy Mason ‘25
  • Mahrle Siddal ‘25


The following students narrated recitations during the performance:

  • Sahana Athreya ‘25
  • Juliette Manise ‘25
  • Clare Harbin ‘23
  • Mason Escobar ‘24
  • Grace Brooks ‘26
  • Chadi Bsila ‘26
  • Cecile Roberts ‘24
  • Timothy Schietroma ‘25
  • Robert Oliver ‘26
  • Julia Mahoney ‘23
  • Nathan Goldenberg ‘23


Members of the Chamber Orchestra were:

  • Alice Silva, Violin
  • Fabrice Dharamraj, Viola
  • Tanja Bechtler, Cello
  • David Vergato, Double Bass
  • Jessica Lindsey, Clarinet
  • Robert Teixeira, Guitar
  • Stephanie Wilson, Percussion
  • Tomasz Robak, Piano

    Grammy Award winning Davidson alumna Melissa Givens.


Craig Hella Johnson’s oratorio, Considering Matthew Shepard has another connection to Davidson.

Grammy Award winning Davidson College alumna Melissa Givens sang in the inaugural performance of Johnson’s piece. She is a member of the musical ensemble Conspirare, a vocal group performs under the direction of founder and Artistic Director Craig Hella Johnson.

When Givens saw that it was performed at her alma mater, she tagged Johnson in a social media post.


See are gallery of photos from the performance.

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