The Children’s March

Sunday, March 05, 2023 - 7:00 PM
Church of the Palms
3224 Bee Ridge Road
Sarasota, FL 34239

Florida Premiere

A moving and dramatic oratorio by Philadelphia composer Andrew Bleckner takes us on a journey to a historical event during the Civil Rights Era of the 1960s. Incorporating traditional African-American styles and spirituals, the work shows the incivility of segregation through the innocence and optimistic spirit of children.

Download & View Program Notes


Charlotte Blake Alston, librettist
Andrew Bleckner, composer

Charlayne Hunter-Gault, narrator
Maiya Stevenson, soprano
Krista Laskowski, mezzo-soprano
Amy Jo Connours, alto
Warren Mitchell, tenor
Baron Garriott, tenor
Jesse Martin, baritone
John Whittlesey, baritone
Sarasota Young Voices – Geneviève Beauchamp, artistic director
Lumina Youth Choirs – Deah McReynolds, artistic director

Choral Artists of Sarasota
Joseph Holt, artistic director and conductor

Section 1: Opening

Once To Every Man and Nation • Run Mary Run • The Fourteenth Amendment (Section 1)

Section 2: Timeline of Struggle

Fugitive Slave Act & Dred Scott • Emancipation Proclamation • The Fourteenth Amendment and Plessy vs. Ferguson Brown vs. Board of Education & Rosa Parks • Little Rock • On and On

Section 3: Birmingham

The Segregation Ordinance • Mama Tell Me Why • The God of Man • Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bevel Dialogue • Woke Up This Mornin’ • Church Meeting

Section 4: The Children March

Word Spread • Bevel: Non-violence • I’m Going • Getting Ready • I’m On My Way • Bull Connor: “You Can Crush Them” • Fifty More • Children’s Declaration • Freedom/Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody • Firehoses • News Footage and Images •The Children Prevail • God Bless You

Section 5: Epilogue

Will You Stand & There is a Balm in Gilead