Brandie Sutton, Janinah Burnett, Krysty Swann, Kenneth Overton, Chauncy Packer Headline Historic Performance & Broadcast of Dett’s ‘The Ordering of Moses’

By David Salazar

Back in 1937, composer R. Nathaniel Dett’s “The Ordering of Moses” aired on NBC Radio. However, due to racist complaints, the network pulled the plug on the ending of the performance, resulting in a truncated broadcast.

Dett’s work will now get its due on June 17, 2022 when The Harlem Chamber Players will bring the work to life at the Riverside Church in New York City.

“Nathaniel Dett’s oratorio was composed in 1932 as monarchs and dictators were seizing power and committing genocide around the world. The piece is a meditation on the Moses in those of us who are willing to speak out against oppression wherever it is,” said concert host Terrance McKnight (WQXR Radio and Artistic Advisor to The Harlem Chamber Players) in an official press statement.

The showcase will feature a 75-member chorus from Chorale Le Chateau, a 60-piece orchestra featuring members of The Harlem Chamber Players, and five soloists including Brandie Sutton, Janinah Burnett, Krysty Swann, Kenneth Overton, and Chauncy Packer. Damien Sneed will conduct.

The performance will be dedicated to the memory of the late and legendary soprano Jessye Norman.

The work was last performed at Carnegie Hall in 2014.