The Crossing Presents ‘ Carols After a Plague’

By Afton Wooten

The Grammy Award-winning choir, The Crossing will present “The Crossing @ Christmas: Carols After a Plague” in December 2021 with concerts in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

This concert is part of a year-long project including a program of world primers by Leila Adu, Alex Berko, Edith Canat de Chizy, Viet Cuong, Samantha Fernando, Vanessa Lann, Mary Jane Leach, Shara Nova, Joseph C. Phillips Jr., Nina Shekhar, Tyshawn Sorey, and LJ White. All of the works address different types of plague, including pandemics, racism, climate change, gun violence, homelessness, diasporas, isolation, or loneliness.

Conductor Donald Nally said in a press release, “These are our carols of our time, dressing and addressing wounds, looking forward, bringing us together, reminding us of our own humanity – a goal that lies at the heart of this annual gathering. Not a Christmas-specific event at all, but rather, one of unanswered questions delivered through the filter of composers’ thoughts over a foundation of truth and grace. Maybe, someday, these carols will, like their more conventional predecessors, hold similar purpose in the lives of future generations: songs they will come together and sing to remind them of times past, stories in which their ancestors overcame challenges while they celebrated life and wondered at the mystery of its endings. Songs about community, enlightenment, and salvation, reached, not from a benevolent deity, but from ourselves.”

The first concert premieres on Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, at 3:00 pm at Dekelboum Concert Hall at the University of Maryland. The second concert is set for Friday, Dec. 17, 2021, at 7:00 pm in Zellerbach Theatre, Annenberg Center at Penns Live Arts in Philadelphia, PA. The final concert will take place on Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, at 5:00 pm at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill also in Philadelphia, PA; there will also be a pre-concert discussion with the composers at 4:00pm.