A Vision of Healing And Unity Through ‘Elegy for the Time of Change’

Composer Robert A. Harris wrote ‘Elegy for the Time of Change’ in response to the horrifying murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police in May 2020. Imbued with singing melodies and richly expressive harmonies, the work makes several brief allusions to the spiritual There is a Balm in Gilead, offering a hopeful vision of healing and unity to a nation (and world) riven by mistrust and disparity.

Harris’s organ work weaves in the melody of this spiritual as it explores the journey from darkness to light, from division and hatred to hope and unity.

Robert A. Harris is Professor Emeritus at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music (Evanston, Illinois), and served as Professor of Conducting and Director of Choral Organisations from 1977 to 2012. He has been a visiting professor at Wayne State, the University of Texas in Austin, and the University of South Africa in Pretoria. He was also director of music and choirmaster at the Winnetka Congregational Church in Illinois.

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