February 13  • 2:30 pm

Covenant Presbyterian Church

This performance has concluded.

The Charlotte performance of
Considering Matthew Shepard is sponsored by
John Craig and Johannes Tromp of Lancaster, SC


Considering Matthew Shepard

By Craig Hella Johnson

Charlotte Master Chorale Chamber Singers
Viktoria Derun, Violin
Vasily Gorkovoy, Viola
Tanja Bechtler, Cello
Bob Teixiara, Guitar
Stephanie Wilson, Percussion
Jessica Lindsey, Clarinet
Philip Biedenbender, Piano
Kenney Potter, conducting

February 12 • 7:30 pm

Diana Wortham Theatre
Asheville, NC

This performance has concluded.

Thank You to our Asheville Sponsors

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Read the program before the concert.

Click on the program cover to view/download the concert program.

CMC Mathew Shepard program 2022


"Considering Matthew Shepard sweeps the listener through many moods: horror, heartbreak, acceptance of pain, spiritual contemplation and finally uplift. Charlotte Master Chorale explored all of them with intelligence and a deep emotional understanding."

Lawrence Toppman,
of the Charlotte Observer

What national critics say about Considering Matthew Shepard

"... Considering Matthew Shepard emerged as a portrait of our times and a testament to the nature of hate. All of which easily could have led Johnson to pen a dark and despairing screed. Instead, he did quite the opposite, evoking the terror of this event early on but transcending it with page after page of hope, yearning and thanks. This may seem incongruous – unless you were there.”
– Chicago Tribune
"....[Considering Matthew Shepard] demonstrates music’s capacity to 
 encompass, transform and 
 transcend tragedy...it leads us from horror and grief to a higher understanding of the human condition, enabling us to endure."
– Washington Post
"...it has the richness, depth and complexity to compel repeated hearing, and the power to get you the first time out."
– The Bay Area Reporter

Support the Matthew Shepard Foundation

In a diverse approach to Erase Hate, the Matthew Shepard Foundation focuses its efforts ranging anywhere from theater stages and local law enforcement agencies, to online resource centers and embassies around the world. Click here to learn more. >

About Considering Matthew Shepard

Composer Craig Hella Johnson dramatically weaves a full spectrum of musical styles with texts by poets Hildegard of Bingen, Lesléa Newman, and Michael Dennis Browne—as well as passages from Matthew Shepard’s personal journal, interviews with his parents, and newspaper reports—into a modern choral masterwork. Incorporating chorus, soloists, instrumentalists, characters, props, and a buck-and-rail fence,  Considering Matthew Shepardis a visually compelling, musically captivating, and emotionally satisfying must-see event.

The tragic death of Matthew Shepard…
On October 7, 1998, Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming, was beaten by two men, tied to a fence, and  deserted in a lonely field under a blanket of stars. Five days later, he died. Shepard was 21.

…has delivered to us a better society.
Two days after Shepard died, President Bill Clinton addressed a Washington D.C. vigil attended by thousands, saying, “In our shock and grief, one thing must remain clear: Hate and prejudice are not American values.” Eleven years later, President Barack Obama signed “The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act” into law.

“Matt Shepard and his story have led me on an inspiring, challenging and deeply meaningful journey that I continue to this day. In composing Considering Matthew Shepard I wanted to create, within a musical framework, a space for reflection, consideration and unity around his life and legacy.” – Craig Hella Johnson

COVID-19 PROTOCOLS (last updated January 15, 2022): All performers are fully vaccinated. Audience members are required to wear masks at all times while inside the church building.