In October 2019, four main St. Louis cultural institutions came together for 3 nights to present an unprecedented outdoor stage production of Duke Ellington’s jazz suite, “Such Sweet Thunder”. The manufacturing starred Founder and Producing Director of the Black Rep, Ron Himes, and Webster Conservatory professor, Rayme Cornell. Free performances took place within the Public Media Commons in Grand Center attracting 1,000 viewers members in total. Music and love outline the artistry of singer, songwriter and devoted group activist Brian Owens. Their powerful performance ignited the internet and has acquired greater than one hundred million views on Facebook and Owens’ YouTube channel.
Today each teams proceed to flourish, inspiring audiences younger and old alike. Norman Gilliland has been a classical radio announcer with Wisconsin Public Radio since 1984. He has featured interviews and performances by lots of of younger Wisconsin artists on weekday classical program, The Midday. For years, Gilliland brought weekly music lessons to school rooms everywhere in the state as a half of WPR’s School of the Air program. Gilliland was a founder of WPR’s Neale-Silva Young Artists’ Competition, which between 1990 and 2013 acknowledged the accomplishments and artistry of tons of of young Wisconsin musicians.