World AIDS Day concert is Dec. 1

· 3 min read

World AIDS Day concert is Dec. 1

The International Quilt Study Center and Museum is located at 33rd and Holdrege streets.
The World AIDS Day Concert is at 4 p.m. Dec. 1 at the International Quilt Museum.

The Glenn Korff School of Music, in collaboration with the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Gender and Sexuality Center, University of Nebraska Medical Center and International Quilt Museum, is offering a World AIDS Day Concert, 4-6 p.m. Dec. 1 at the International Quilt Museum. The concert is free and open to the public.

This event stands as a powerful tribute to honor those affected by AIDS and promote awareness of ongoing research and support and is made possible through support from the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts and the Faculty Senate Convocations Grant.

The event will feature a performance of collected and uncollected works from “The AIDS Quilt Songbook,” performed by Hanrahan, guest artists Susan Hurley, Deborah Popham, Marcy McKee and William Reber, and students from the Glenn Korff School of Music.

In addition to the performance, there will be a presentation on the treatment and prevention research by Dr. Benson Edagwa, a researcher and associate professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center; a panel from the original NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt on display; and a freewill donation to support the Lincoln Chapter of the Nebraska AIDS Project.

Hanrahan was inspired to organize this event after hearing a lecture-recital on the AIDS Quilt Songbook by Hurley, Popham and McKee at the International Congress of Voice Teachers in Vienna, Austria.

The AIDS Quilt Songbook is an ongoing, collaborative song-cycle originally founded by baritone William Parker that responds to the stigma, ignorance and grief caused by the spread of HIV/AIDS. It premiered in 1992 at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in New York City. The original 18-song songbook included compositions by William Bolcom, Libby Larsen and John Musto. Several dozen more songs have since been added by more composers. It is a companion work to the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, a 54-ton tapestry that is a living memorial and celebration of the lives of people lost to the AIDS pandemic.

“I just thought these are beautiful songs,” he said. “What spurred in my mind was we don’t hear about AIDS so much anymore. I thought to myself, is there a way that we could give back or engage the community and remind them that this group of people still exist, they still suffer, they still have fears, they still live with the disease.”

Hurley, who is associate professor of voice at Mississippi University for Women, is the founding artistic director of an AIDS Quilt Songbook benefit concert series in Phoenix, Arizona. She says the event in Lincoln is important to both honor the past and educate for the future.

“We really do want to honor and empower people who are living with HIV,” she said. “It’s important to keep the stories going because we learn from stories, and I think we sometimes forget history. We want to support, honor and memorialize those we lost and what we lost culturally as well. It’s also important to share the information as it is relevant now. We have a generation of adults, many of whom have not been taught this history. It’s important or all people to know about it because any one of us could become HIV positive at any time, but particularly young people who have not heard the information before. These wonderful songs can start a conversation.”

Hanrahan hopes people attend the interdisciplinary event.

“How often do you get to go to a concert that mixes music performance with visual arts and science research?” he said. “It will be fully engaging — mind, body and soul.”

Recent News