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Titus Underwood | Live Q & A

Lift Every Voice: Q & A

Lift Every Voice and Sing” is a poem written in 1899 by NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson and later set to music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson. This poem would later become what is known as “The Negro (Black) National Anthem”. In May 2020, Titus Underwood (graduate of the Juilliard School and Nashville Symphony Principal Oboist) was inspired to perform a rendition of this anthem, arranged by composer Fred Onovwerosuoke. Underwood then collected an all-star ensemble of fellow black orchestral musicians including Anthony McGill (New York Philharmonic Principal Clarinetist), Demarre McGill (Seattle Symphony Principal Flutist), Anthony Parnther (Hollywood Studio Orchestra) and others.

With over 550,000 views internationally across various social media platforms since its debut on June 4, 2020, what originally started as a painstaking showcase of black representation in classical music (where it is greatly underrepresented), has become a musical protest of racial discrimination and injustice both domestically and abroad. The recording is intended for every protester, every activist, and every freedom fighter that needs to be emboldened as we lift every voice and sing in protest of racism globally.

Fantasia on “Lift Every Voice”
Based on the tune “Lift Every Voice”
By J. Rosamund Johnson and other tune fragments
Arr. Fred Onovwerosuoke

Demarre McGill – Seattle Symphony Principal Flute
Ebonee Thomas – Dallas Opera Second Flute/Piccolo
Titus Underwood – Nashville Symphony Principal Oboe
Geoffrey Johnson – Detroit Symphony Orchestra Acting Second Oboe
Anthony McGill – New York Philharmonic Principal Clarinet
Alex Laing – Phoenix Symphony Principal Clarinet
Andrew Brady – Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Principal Bassoon
Marlène Ngalissamy – Marlboro Festival Fellow
Anthony Parnther – San Bernardino and Southeast Symphony Conductor (Contra Bassoon)
Priscilla Rinehart – Sarasota Orchestra Second Horn
Adedeji Ogunfolu – Pacific Symphony Second Horn
Amanda Collins – University of Missouri Assistant Horn Professor
Jeffrey Scott – Oberlin College and Conservatory Horn Professor and Imani Winds