A Year of Margaret Bonds

Composer Margaret Bonds and the handwritten score of "Simon Bore the Cross" in A Year of Margaret Bonds


GU Concert Choir
​Prof. Frederick Binkholder, music director 

Simon Bore the Cross

Music by Margaret Bonds
Text by Langston Hughes

The Georgetown University Concert Choir performs this Easter cantata by the African-American composer Margaret Bonds with text by her long-time collaborator Langston Hughes, based on the spiritual He Never Said a Mumblin' Word. When the Special Collections of Georgetown University's Lauinger Library recently purchased the archives of Margaret Bonds, handwritten parts of this work—once thought to be lost—were discovered by Prof. Anna Celenza. Now Prof. Frederick Binkholder has created a performance score from the handwritten manuscripts and the GU Concert Choir's "A Year of Margaret Bonds" features the World Premiere of this marvelous, historic work.

Saturday, February 24, 2018 at 6 p.m. | WORLD PREMIERE 
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Millennium Stage | FREE 
No free parking for free events

Monday, April 30, 2018 at 8 p.m. 
Georgetown University's Davis Performing Arts Center, Gonda Theatre | FREE 
7:15 pm pre-concert lecture: Experts Dr. Tammy Kernodle (Miami University) and Dr. Anna Celenza (Georgetown University) will give a pre-concert lecture about Simon Bore the Cross, Margaret Bonds, and the importance of her legacy in music history.

Also part of the 2017-18 A Year of Margaret Bonds...

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at 8 p.m.                                


GU Concert Choir
Prof. Frederick Binkholder, artistic director
Ballad of the Brown King                         

Music by Margaret Bonds
Text by Langston Hughes        

This holiday concert features the nine-movement Christmas cantata Ballad of the Brown King, with music by African-American composer Margaret Bonds and text by writer Langston Hughes, her long-time collaborator. Front page dedication of the work notes that it is “Inspired by and Dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr." This concert is part of the GU Concert Choir’s “A Year of Margaret Bonds,” which features works from the Special Collections Research Center at Georgetown University's Lauinger Library, including Bonds’ and Hughes’ Easter cantata Simon Bore the Cross, which will have its world premiere on April 30.