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June 2021 | The Sound of 13

Garrett McQueen with foliage in background
Garrett McQueen
Garrett McQueen.

Mondays, Jun. 7–14, at 7 p.m. on 90.5 FM & STREAMING |  Hosted by Garrett McQueen, The Sound of 13 is a 13-week series of programs recognizing the significant influence and contributions of Afro-Americans to classical music through the lens of the 13th Amendment.The 2020 killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many other Black citizens led many in America to reckon anew with race… including classical music institutions and their patrons. Radio and podcast host Garrett McQueen opens a historical and contemporary conversation of race and classical music with the 13th amendment as the guide in a series heard on WKAR, called The Sound of 13. The 13-episode program will air Mondays at 7pm, having started March 22, and end June 14, just before the Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 19.

Garrett McQueen is a professional bassoonist who has performed with symphonies and in venues across the country. He is also an accomplished instructor and has performed in multiple Broadway musicals and television series. Garrett is a strong advocate for the diversification of classical music and the advancement of Black musicians in the field. He is the creator of and co-host of Trilloquy, a weekly podcast and arts initiative that affirms the "classic" aspects of compositions from all cultures in an effort to decolonize so-called "classical music."

Jun. 7
Exploring the connections between music and the 15th Amendment, which sets down the right to vote, regardless of race. Music by Black composers Ignatius Sancho, Florence Price and Jason Moran plus Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait with the voice of Michigan-raised actor James Earl Jones.

Jun. 14
In the finale of The Sound of 13, the University of Michigan Choir performs Alysia Lee’s work Say Her Name, from the movement of the same name, which resists police brutality against Black women. Host Garrett McQueen chose William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 2, “Song of a New Race,” from 1937 to close his 13 weeks exploring the Black experience and classical music.

The Capital Region’s source for classical music, local news and NPR. The station operates 24 hours per day and is available online at wkar.org.

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