Trinity Church Wall Street is now streaming its recent performances of “Considering Matthew Shepard,” an oratorio by Craig Hella Johnson.
The work was presented in New York between Sept. 15 and 17 and is now available to stream via the company’s official website.
Soloists included Brian Giebler, Sonya Headlam, Wilson Nichols, Gregório Taniguchi, Pamela Terry, Enrico Lagasca, Jonathan Woody, Molly Quinn, and Nickolas Karageorgiou. The work was directed by Elliott Forrest and Rod Caspers with Malcolm J. Merriweather as the music director.
Matthew Shepard was a young gay student at the University of Wyoming who was brutally beaten, tortured and left for dead on Oct. 6, 1998. As a result of his injuries, he died six days later. His murderers were Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson. Henderson pled guilty to murder and kidnapping to avoid the death penalty while McKinney was found guilty of felony murder and sentenced to two consecutive life terms without the possibility for parole.
Shepard’s murder led to major hate crime legislation throughout subsequent years. His mother, Judy Shepard, would become a major advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. Shepard’s ashes were subsequently interred at the Washington National Cathedral’s crypt.
The oratorio was created “a space for reflection, consideration, and unity around [Shepard’s] life and legacy.”